manic or master manipulator?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by confuzzled, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    at what point do you know the difference?

    are there signs that differ between the two??

    phone call from the school---high frustration level, crying and hit her head in a totally different subject.

    we have her now on a modified day with tutoring (starting today) for the first troublesome subject. she goes in late, and will stay late 3X week for private tutoring. it was seemingly the only remediation we could come up with regarding this first problem.

    quite frankly, i've moved heaven and earth for this kid in a very short period of time. and i'm quickly running out of ideas.

    we cant help wondering if she is making the connection from "i cant control my acting out" to "*if* i act out, i'll get out of something"...yes, she's smart enough to figure it out.

    her mood seemed fine this morning. she certainly could have been ruminating on the new tutoring, but at this point, who knows. honestly, i'm never really sure with her WHAT i'm seeing, and seriously i dont know if i could tell the "real difficult child" from the "off difficult child". (i'm reasonably sure she was ill long before we really picked up on it)

    yes, i'm keeping a log for the psychiatrist, and yeah, i'm guessing we need to go up on medications or add some...
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi confuzzled,
    one way to tell the difference is to have her go back to the same class the next day and BE there. IOW, my son will have a stomach ache if there is a math test coming up. The next day, he HAS to take the math test, no matter what.
    He is learning that it is better to take it and get it over with.

    Other than that, she seems to have anxiety issues.

    Don't the teachers have some ideas for you? How often do you meet with-them?
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If you figure it out, please let me know. I think being a difficult child is often who they are.
  4. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    Don't the teachers have some ideas for you? How often do you meet with-them?

    not often enough. i've worked out a secret system with someone in direct contact with difficult child to get some semblence of info. the school psychiatric has been good about trying to keep in touch. the deal is supposed to be if she feels frustrated to *tell someone* and go to psychiatric or nurse for a break...but she's not very good at asking for help, for any reason. (she somehow views it as a weakness)

    they really dont have too many other ideas, most things that have happened modification wise has been at my request or in collaboration with the school psychiatric.
    there will be an IEP meeting after testing is done, so there is some kind of data to work off of...until now, they have been very good about working with me (after the last massive miscommunication, there wont be any more informal meetings--things will need to be set in stone from now on)

    i'm just baffled over trigger, mood issue, or i really dont feel like doing X right now...i'm trying to help her, but there is a big difference between being sick and being a manipulator.

    in any event, of course she has to do X, and thats exactly what husband (who handled todays festivities, while i had the nerve to go buy milk and eggs) told both my difficult child and the school. and we did not go pick her up either.
  5. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    I struggled with that question for a long time.

    What I learned that applies in my situation: It doesn't matter, not really. My difficult child is going to be an adult in a couple short years. Regardless of reason, excuse or situation he has to learn to maintain appropriate behavior in personal and public life. If he cannot do this then he will inevitably end up in adult psychiatric hospital or prison or have failed relationships or worse.

    My bottom line is that he has to do what he has to do to get moving in life. Any compromise on my part will end with him not being equipped to live in the real world, the world outisde of our home. It may seem harsh but I won't always be here to save him or to be the whipping boy. Some day it may be a wife who leaves him or a boss who fires him. since his behavior is the problem and not me failing as a parent the burden of acting proper is his.

    It may have made me feel better to know he was just manic and not some twisted game player. In the end I don't think I will ever know. The mania causes behaviors such as manipulation in and of itself. I think it's like trying to figure out what came first the chicken or the egg. nice for informational purposes but doesn't change my ultimate goal of hopefully having a functional adult out of my difficult child.

    That's what works for me anyway. I know him better than anyone and he doesn't do his "thing" in public. Ultimately even the best psychiatrist won't see the real him like I do so they couldn't possibly understand to make the determination. I try to dislike the behavior, dislike the disorder but do my best to love my difficult child for who he is, warts and all. Isn't easy but if I knew he was JUST a manipulater it would make this all that much harder.

    ...maybe I feel better off not knowing that answer.:sad-very:
  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    maybe I feel better off not knowing that answer

    maybe you are right.

    i guess it really doesnt make a difference--unacceptable behavior is just that, unacceptable. and she does have to face the consequences for whatever she's done...

    i guess i'm just concerned that she's becoming undone, and i'm missing something yet again.

    and yeah, our newest psychiatrist seemed pretty good, but he could never get the full jist of her...heck, i *live* with her and have zero idea.

    maybe i never will.