Just found your group and I need help....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by char71113, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. char71113

    char71113 New Member

    Hi all.

    Haven't any idea where to start so will just wing it and hope you get idea of our difficulities. I am hoping for support as I have run out of energy and ideas.

    Married 11 years. I have 2 stepsons ages 25 and 21. My children are boy 16 and girl 17 (to be 18 in Nov). Husband is 52 and I am 40.

    Stepsons (then ages 8 & 12)always had the "candy-daddy" time with us while visiting once during the week and every other weekend so husband never really had to deal with teenagers and the difficult times on a regular basis with them. They have grown to be good boys...sometimes :wink:

    My children were son 4 and daughter 5 when we married and have lived with us full time. Times were good until teen yrs began and they started to show and practice there independence and all. husband has a controlling personality (expects responsibility, do more than your best, respect, and jump when I tell you to do something.) So our home had two sets of rules *when he was home and *when he was gone (much more relaxed and enjoyable). I know, confusing but happier day to day. Had some therapy for adjusting to blended family.

    They were home without us for a few hours many nights from ages 12-14. I was there everyday all the time so in evenings husband would take me on motorcycle or golfing or out to see friends 1-3 times a week. I didn't think it was a problem with and for kids at the time. I always made sure school work was done, food in stomache, and something to do for the night (tv, computer, friends), and asked if they minded if we left or would they like us to stay home. If asked to stay I did - while they did their own thing and ignored me anyway :(. When we did go out I would call a couple times even if I was gone for only 2-3 hours. I realized I was gone too much after a while just from the attitude they gave out so I made the choice to be home more often then.

    Skip ahead a couple years and let's talk about daughter only now. Daughter has history of sneaking out of our house with friends, and at and with friends houses. Grounded and privleges taken away. doesn't matter :mad:

    Defiant and angry often with nasty attitude. We talked and sometimes that helped.

    She is drama. Seems there always is something going on that she is involved in with trouble between her or her involvement with friends troubles.

    ADD and Learning Disability (LD) caused educational troubles in school then 3 years ago she began having nasty panic attacks of sort (myoclonic movements -- can explain more another time) and had to come home from scool often. A circle - stress means attack means not at school, behind in school work and hard to understand caused stress means attack mean not at school, behind in school work...... She lost interest in school, selfconcious of medical troubles, troubles with drama and friends, so she began self-cutting.

    Therapy continues for defiance, selfcutting, school, friends, attitude, self unimportance. medication changes. Change schools and friends.

    Then pot and drinking use starts - unknown to me. Behavior and actions really out of whack so placed her is girls home for 2.5 months in early 2007. Seemed to help bit. Got back home and eventually went back to pot and drinking and added variety of drugs to it then. Put her in outpatient rehab. Took cell phone and car away indefinitely. I take her to and from meetings, school, and work. Occationally where she wants to go - when I feel like it. --my attitude comes in there :whistle:

    She quit taking her medications about 3+ weeks ago. Quit following home rules (shared home chores, no food in room, curfew, etc) so she had choice to follow them or leave. She left for 2 weeks. School is about to start and she has no way so she comes home agreeing to rules. Got mad a couple weeks later and says she is out for good - that lasted 3 days as she didn't have friends to stay with and way to school and work now.
    I let her back home with stipulation of not to leave again cause the door would be locked to her room if it happened again. Therapist, rehab councelor, medication dr all say to kick her out and let her find her own way. The idea scares the breathe right outta me!

    Today she calls me and says she felt depressed and started crying in school. Her dean was too busy to talk to her at moment (great relationship with her though!) so she left school. Called me to come pick her up and I said no, go back to school. She got mad, said she would not. I said yes you will and I will be there at regular time to get you. She said don't bother cause she will not be there and hung up.

    Been two hours now and don't know where she is ....again....but surprisingly I am calm and have a "whatever" attitude. I am sooooo tired of it all.

    I know what is right and wrong to accept for her behavior. I know I should be tough and give options and follow through. I know I am her mother and what she can and can not honestly handle in life on her own. I just don't know what to do.
    :rolleyes:

    Suggestions anyone?
     
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Well. My first and most overwhelming thought in regard to your situation is that maybe she needs to get back on medications. Some of her earlier behaviors sound within the normal range of teenage girl angst. Especially with the blended family issues.

    I even think that occasional substance use can fall within the normal range. If you look at statistics most high schoolers are dabbling in alcohol and drugs. I don't condone this behavior .. and I believe that it needs to be addressed ... however I don't know that your daughters behaviors are that far out in left field . Teens often go through these things to individuate from the parents.

    Same to be said about self injury. Today, cutting is almost in style. How sad is that?

    Does she go to therapy? How about family therapy? When a child is acting out, it is rarely just the child who needs 'fixing'. Usually the family dynamics need an overhaul too. The child is usually the presenting family member.

    Suggestions? Family therapy. Personal therapy for her. Clear cut and consistent rules. Love her ... it is not easy being a teenage girl today. The pressures are IMMENSE!!!

     
  3. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    Unfortunately,the cutting is very much the teenage style. I was so upset last year when my son came home and said his friend cuts himself. The kids mom took all sharp objects out of their home. He kept cutting himself. It was addictive for him. I found out through my son that this kid was picking the laminated wood off the desks and using the pieces to cut himself at school. I worked at a hospital er and saw one child come in with over 164 cuts in a 20 minute cutting episode. Being a teenager is so much harder now then when I was in school.

    I also agree with goldenguru. As hard as it is to face, sometimes it is the whole family who needs help. It took a long time for my teenagers to feel comfortable enough to confide in me and talk everyday about their day or friends. Now I end up giving him advice to give to his friends so they talk more openly with their parents.
     
  4. char71113

    char71113 New Member

    She outright refuses to take her medications. I keep trying but she will not take any at all. I KNOW it would help her but can't force it down her throat (although i have thought of it!)

    husband and I have been in therapy together to make things work better at home. It has been great for us and son but daughter just will not work within unity.

    She's had plenty of therapy but refuses to change behavior. Goes right ahead and does - or doesn't do - what she wants whenever, however, whyever.

    She quit cutting for 7 months but did it again recently. Her view is her herself before others can hurt her. Ummm, she only does it when drama overcomes her ability to control it; or if she's mad at me.

    She cut her ties from pot and coke friends 2 months ago but I think she has found another one recently.

    Punishment / Repurcussions for not doing household chores etc doesn't effect her cause she does what she wants anyway even after I take away something or ground her.

    What good does family therapy do if she doesn't participate or interact or follow through????? It costs sooooo much to be wasting it like this.

    grrrrrrrrrr.....
     
  5. SnowAngel

    SnowAngel New Member

    I am sorry you are going through this. I know others that have more experience will come on and post advice. Hang in there. My prayers are with you and your family.
     
  6. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Welcome to the group.

    I don't have teens yet, so I don't have any good advice in this situation.

    I'm sure more will be along shortly to offer something good.
     
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If you are still physically responsible for your daughter until she's 18, (varies from state to state) I'd be very hesitant to let her move out on her own til her birthday.

    Honestly though, I think the professionals have already given you some sound advice. If she's not going to cooperate, and what you're doing isn't making her want to cooperate, then there isn't anything you can do. Especially with her birthday being so close.

    Sounds to me like you've entered the beginning stages of Detachment 101. That is a good thing.

    Welcome to the board. :biggrin:

    Hugs
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had a teen like yours.She's now 23. She used drugs and changed completely when the drugs started. I didn't know she was using them for a long time...duh. I just thought some mental illness had kicked up. Sad to say, kids who use drugs tend to run in packs and be defiant and disobedient. It is my opinion (I have raised other teens and have one now) that, trendy or not, cutting is a call for help. My daughter also cut. She tells me a lot now, because she has changed, and she explains that cutting "made me feel something." It became addictive for her and was hard to quit as were the various drugs she took--here I thought she was only using pot...haha. She refused help too. Finally, I decided that giving her a warm home and meals was actually hurting her. She turned eighteen and she had to choose either rehab and strict rules or she'd have to leave. She chose to leave. She was lucky--her straight arrow brother let her live with him and the funny thing is she listened to him. He lived in another state so she was away from druggie crowd too. She quit using drugs and even smoking cigarettes and is doing really well. My advice is, no matter how much it hurts--if the child refuses help, won't take medications, won't obey, won't go to therapy, continues defiance that it is probably hurting them more than helping to keep them at home, where they can continue the destruction. I can't say it would work well for you, but my daughter had no car when she moved in with her brother. She had to walk to Subway--that was her job. She had no druggie friends to hang with. She also had to help clean the house and cook. Her brother was hard on her, but she really straightened out her act. I thought she'd end up in jail or dead (no exaggeration) and now she's delightful and my best friend at age twenty-three. I would put my foot down: therapy, medications, rules, no drugs or send her somewhere else. If my daughter hadn't had a brother to go to, I still would have made her leave. She was a terrible example to her two younger siblings and I got tired of the police dropping by. For now, I would tell her she has no privacy and check her room periodically, also her diary, if she has one...you need to know if she is planning to do anything dangerous. I know how hard this is. I cried all night many nights!!! (((Hugs))) and good luck, whatever you decide to do.
     
  9. char71113

    char71113 New Member

    Thanks for thoughts all.

    MidwestMom, your words are my current thoughts! May I email you and talk more direct? How do you do that on this board?

    Her birthday is in late Nov and she graduates (if we can keep her in school that long) will be mid-Jan. At that point (if I can handle it 4 more months) it will be my way or highway. I so want to keep her in school for that diploma. Working with At-Risk couselor and her Dean at school today to come to some "modifications" to make it work. Whew! I thought High School in my days was tough.

    Funny comment from GFGd today: Mom, I think I will call into work sick today (said about 1230pm).

    I said: I said, umm, no. You have reponsibility to your kids (she works at daycare) in class and to your boss and other people working there. Be responsible and hold up your agreement to working there.

    GFGd says: I know, but......................(ARE YOU ALL READY FOR THIS ONE----->>) I have worked 7 days without missing a day this past week and a half. Can't I take a break?

    I NEARLY FELL OVER THE RAIL ON THE STAIRWAY I WAS STANDING ON!!!!

    I said as I was laughing & trying to talk: No, GFGd, life doesn't work that way. Now go get ready.

    (how i wish i could work 7 days and get some 'time off'.......!)
     
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Char,

    Wanted to pop in and offer my welcome and support.

    Oh, and tell you that my kid was just like yours a couple years ago. She was working part time (so, 3-4 hours a night, a few nights a week, and longer shifts on the weekends)

    "MOM!! I have to work SIX hours today!!!"


    "Wait! Hang on, I'm looking for the phone. Gonna dial 1-800-BOO-HOO. Gonna call you a waaambulance."

    You're in the right place.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can PM me anytime. I'll tell you what we went through...lol. It wasn't fun :smile: But we survived!
     
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome!!

    My difficult child just got her first job and I have heard a bit of that whining 'it is not fair', 'I am working too hard' stuff. It is annoying.

    I think detachment for the next 4 months is the answer.
     
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Our middle two kids have been sometime cutters. For them it was internal pain that they were trying to find a way to express. My daughter especially hid it thoroughly. It came from loneliness; poor self-worth; frustration and probably some anger in there as well.

    Taking away sharp things is NOT the way to handle it. Not at all. It then becomes a challenge and the cutting takes on the added perspective of attention-seeking (which it isn't necessarily, to begin with).

    To stop them cutting, you have to stop what is driving them to cut. And for that, you have to really do some digging.

    An alternative to cutting for a kid who really does want to stop, is to wear a reubber band around the wrist. When they feel an urge to self-mutilate, they snap the band, hard. it gives a similar short, sharp pain and will even leave a red welt which hopefully is close enough to the sight of blood to send them a visual signal of "I have hurt myself" only this time, with out permanent damage. It's a way of weaning off without making them stop cold turkey.

    Kids in the US have different problems to kids in Australia, in some areas. Our kids do have some sexual pressure but not the same sort, not the same degree of exploitation and isolation if you refuse to participate. And it's not everywhere in the US. But from what I have seen of it (various documentaries) it would be enough to do this to a girl. Who knows? There could be many other factors she feels she can't talk to anyone about, and a counsellor might find out and make her feel even worse about herself than she already does. Drugs and alcohol are all that makes her feel better, to forget how awful she feels constantly.

    Serious suggestion - what about getting her studying school in some other way (ie not at high school) and working full-time? Planning a career now? As she begins to gain qualifications which she can directly use, she may start feeling better about herself and need these crutches less and less.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 stopped cutting when she got her first serious boyfriend, but it wasn't an easy relationship especially as time went on. She increasingly would get drunk and caused a few nasty incidents, with hindsight it was the problems in her relationship which were contributing. She just didn't know how to change the situation - he was being very demanding and selfish, in every way including sexually. Her self-esteem was plummetting again - if he hadn't broken up with her she would have begun cutting again. The sort of problem - he would EXPECT and INSIST on her giving him oral sex, even though he hadn't washed in a week. And he would constantly come out with put-downs designed to really hurt her, by openly criticising her (very young-seeming) body and publicly voicing her own inadequacies. Very nasty.

    I really wanted to protect from all this - I only found out through a few very frank conversations, AFTER they had broken up. If only she had told me - but then, what I would have done to that boy wouldn't bear thinking about. What husband would have done to him would have been actionable.
    But that boy - HE didn't know better, his self-esteem was similarly disastrous.

    We like to think our teens' lives are simple - school, study, friends, part-time job, home. But it's so much more complex than that - so unbelievably complex, and they often are not emotionally equipped to cope, and then they get in so deep they're afraid to talk to anybody about their problems because if THEY feel bad about what they are doing themselves, what on earth will their parents or their counsellors think? To see the look of hurt and disappointment in a parents or a counsellor's eyes is sometimes more than they can bring themselves to handle.

    I don't know if any of this can help you - it's about the best I can do for now. Adolescence is a really nasty time to endure, for both the kid and the parent.

    Marg
     
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