New here.... hitting a wall.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Gran2Angels, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    This is my first post. I do not know if I'm posting in the correct spot.

    My difficult child, daughter, age 27 is like a rogue wave that just keeps on pounding. I feel absolutely defeated, worn out and without hope.

    Her diagnosis is currently mood disorder, migraines and possibly partial seizure disorder. Her EEG's are normal (she has had two, one in the office and one extended three day testing), MRI's normal, MRA's normal. As of 8 days ago her medications are depakote and zoloft. Prior to that her psychiatrist had her on vyvance twice a day for ADD, which led to the two most craziest months yet. He also had her on klonapin (sp?) three times a day. Her new neurologist dropped those last two, which has helped some, but she is still really out of sorts.

    She has four children. Two from a first marriage, boy age 9, daughter age 7. Two from her current marriage, girl age 2, boy age 1. Her current husband is hanging on by a thread. He is now being treated for major depression and mood disorder. The older two have spent most of last year with me.

    My daughter's behavour is getting more and more unrealistic. Everyone around her is the "reason she has a problem". Nothing is her fault. She is agitated 24/7. Most of January she was out every evening, meaning she would get the kids to bed and just leave. Two nights she did not come home at all. My son in law had to call me to go over early so he could go to work. I got the oldest two to school and someone to care for the babies. She got in a fight with her father (my ex) in December. Literally a fight, and her arm was broken. He says she stormed in on him and he was simply holding her back. She says he attacked her. Last week she hit her husband when he would not give her the car keys to leave in a snow storm and bruised his face. And yes, she took their new car out in a driving snow storm to have dinner with her friends. She claims to not remember hitting him. She claims to not remember the nasty things she says. She claims to not be gone as much as she is....... on and on and on.

    I'm scared for her. But I can not control her. I'm sick that my grandchildren have to be worried about where thier mother is and that they hear her yell and scream. Her husband is trying to keep his cool and not provoke her, as best I can tell. He has been hanging on and trying to keep the home-life as settled as possible hoping for the right medicine or combo of medications to work. He wants to save the marriage and keep the family together, but he is getting worn down physically and emotionally.
    He and I are cleaning the house (when it gets so bad no one can stand it) and doing the laundry (when it gets to the point the kids have nothing clean to wear). She just makes excuse after excuse for everything she doesn't do and for the things she does that she shouldn't be doing. He and I work, she does not.

    I'm just defeated. I do not know what else to do. I do not know how to protect my grands. I spoke with an attorney and she says I don't have enough to take them. I really don't want to take them, but if she doesn't calm down I do not see how they can be stable there.

    There is just so very much more to this. This is getting long and my thoughts are jumbled, there is just so much. How in the world do you all hang on. At this point, I've got nothing left.

    I know I have to find strength to hang in there because of the kids. If I try to back away from her, she cuts the kids off from me too. I can't let that happen, so I take much more from her than I would otherwise. I do not know how to help.

    How do you all do it? I do not offend easily, so ANY and ALL responses are welcomed and appreciated. Anyone else dealing with grandkids that you are trying protect, with a difficult child that still will not admit the gravity of their situation and problem?

    Thanks for listening. No one I know understands. They think you can just "make" her shape up. Yeah, right. Don't I wish.

  2. maxeygirls

    maxeygirls New Member

    Gran- Welcome. I have not been here long but I have found overwhelming support from the amazing people here. I will say that my mother in law has been in your shoes, not quite so bad but pretty close. In the end it wasn't her who helped her child but his second wife.
    Unfortunately when innocent children are involved and the difficult child/parent refuses/cant see the problem it just flat out sucks for the kids.
    I wish I knew what to tell you but all I think I can say at this point is welcome, stay strong and I hope someone here can help.
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    When she get abusive someone shoud call police and have her taken to ER. They can hold her for evaluation. It sounds as if she needs her medications changed or discontinued but she needs it done in a safe environment. -RM
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Gran. You have come to the right place for some support from some wonderful folks who have been there done that with out of control kids.

    Has your dtr been this way most of her life or did she start all this stuff in early adulthood? Bipolar can start in childhood or can start in the late teens to early 20s for some people. Just wondering.

    I am kind of leery about the combo of the depakote and zoloft because zoloft can activate bipolar and make the mania and out of control behaviors so much worse. Any anti-depressants do that for me. Of course, there is nothing you can do about that. Im sure she wont listen to you...sigh.

    About the fighting, arguing, verbal and physical abuse, not taking care of the kids...well, honestly if it was me, if she actually was breaking the law, I think its time to sit her down and tell her its time to stop this juvenile behavior and that the next time she behaves this way you will call the police and then stick to it.

    If her kids are taken because of her lack of care, I believe they will look for a family placement first. We have had a few people here who have gone through that.

    Good luck. I can only imagine how hard this is. I have had to call the cops on my son several times. It is not easy.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I have not experienced the violence aspect I have lived for 22 years of observing poor parenting. That's a bit of an understatement. I have raised my daughter's first son and spent close to eight years with her second son in my home. Her third child has remained with her Mother for her eight years of life and living in chaos has had multiple negative effects on her development. Due to the lack of severity social services never did intervene even though, to my knowledge, three different people did place calls to the toll free anonymous child abuse number. I never called myself based on the lack of results from previous calls.

    I doubt that any conversation would change her lifestyle pattern. I am sure that cleaning up her pigsty and doing the laundry won't result in any positive long term results but I do understand. It's a terrible position to be in and I wish I had an answer for you. On the Board there is emphasis on detaching. With the children suffering I don't see how it is possible to use that method, frankly.

    What would I do? I would make an anonymous call and report that the children live in filthy conditions (making sure that call is not made following one of your visits), that they often do not have clean clothes to wear and that the Mother has out of control behaviors that include screaming and violence in the home although not directed at the kids. In other words I would report the truth. If there are neighbors close by who likely have heard the ranting and raving, I would include in my report that out of control behavior is loud enough to draw attention from outside the home.

    The agencies are not allowed to reveal "the reporter". The agencies are required to visit the home (usually within a three day period if the allegations do not include immediate danger to the children). If, like my daughter, she is quick on her feet she will pleasantly explain that "things are messy" due to a bout of the flu or working overtime or whatever and the agency may accept her word. on the other hand there is a chance that the person will actually investigate, offer parenting classes or counseling, or make future visits to check out the situation. The worst case scenario is that the agency will step in, remove the children from the home, etc. but that doesn't happen often. Instead of fearing it might happen, I think you need to think through "what is in the best interests of the children". A short term trauma might save them a lifetime of dysfunction and chaos. No State wants to support multiple children if there is a family member who will temporarily provide a safe environment. That might be the wakeup call that your daughter needs...although I doubt it would happen.

    I am genuinely sorry that you are in this untenable situation. My heart goes out to you and the children. Obviously something has to change if there is going to be any stability for the kids. Perhaps you are the only one who can trigger an awakening for the Mom. Good luck. DDD
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Gran, welcome to our safe corner of cyberspace. I'm glad you have found us, but sorry you need to.

    As you have realized, your daughter needs intensive help. Is there any way to make her prescribing doctors (psychiatrist and neurologist?) understand how erratic her behavior is and get her into an inpatient facility?

    As Janet mentioned, Zoloft could very well be contributing to her erratic behavior. It can cause behavior that is aggressive, irresponsible, angry, irritable, depressive and mission-oriented. It can even cause psychosis, which is why your daughter may not be remembering everything that is happening to her.

    In general, mood disorders are treated with a mood stabilizer like Depakote plus an atypical antipsychotic (Risperdal, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Invega). People with mood disorders typically do worse if they take SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft and stimulants like Vyvanse (as you saw with your daughter). They can become disinhibited on benzodiazapines like Klonopin. It's important to get her on the right medications and off the wrong ones or your daughter will continue to behave erratically.

    Hang in there, Gran, and welcome again.
  7. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member


    Thank you so much for your responses. Just the feeling of correspondence with others who understand and can actually converse about all these behaviors, well I can express what it means to me. I will try to answer your questions and tell you more.

    Some history: She had milk allergies as a baby, was allergic to every material except for 100% cotton, had to wear cloth diapers - 2 at a time with a cloth training pant because she was allergic to every type of disposable diaper, plastic and tape. She had dermatitis to the trunk of her body and legs and was treated for that starting at about age 4 months or so, but it became less severe by age 2 or so. She talked at the normal rate, walked at about at 13 months.

    She was always strong willed, and had trouble sleeping at night. I loved her and she was the light of my life. Her kindergarten teacher told us she thought difficult child had ADD. We learned if we kept her on a tight schedule, especially with regard to sleeping but also with eating, etc, then she did better. First grade was just ok, she had a very strict teacher that was highly organized and regimented and the structure helped difficult child make it through that year. Concentration was always hard, but we worked with her enough to get it all done.

    Second grade was a pit. Her teacher was lovely fun lady, carefree and no real plan. By the end of the first 6 weeks of school she was struggling so badly that I took her to the pediatrician and he suggested we have her tested for ADD. The mental health center confirmed the diagnosis and told us her IQ was extremely high, she qualified for MENSA. She was started on Ritilan. It was a complete nightmare that lasted only 4 days. She was up until 1 or two in the morning. To put it bluntly, she was wild. Mean, out of sorts, crying, exhausted, wild. It broke my heart. It was my understanding that there was no other options as far as medications. So we went back to the strick schedules and got a tutor. By the end of the school year I left my job. It took a lot to help her through life.

    So it went until she was 12.

    Her dad and I divorced the summer she turned 12. I went back to work full time.

    By that time her personality was already changing. The moodiness, hard to handle side of her was no longer around only when tired or stressed. It moved in to stay. She had days of being angry and unreasonable, verbally abusive. I took her to two doctors and both said it was just situational from the divorce and to just give her some space and time. I knew it was more than that. One day she wanted to go skating and spend the night with a friend I did not know. I said no, but offered to take her skating and the new friend spend the night with us if her parents would allow it. She snapped. She became extremely angry and it lead to this 2 hour rage that ended up with her throwing a skillet at me and kicking me repeatedly. I called a facility that I had looked into regarding her behaviors, and they told me to put her in the car and bring her right then for evaluation. It was a one hour drive to get there. She literally kicked and hit the back of my seat while I driving all the way there. She said every ugly thing you can imagine. Threatened me. She was admitted and stayed about 7 days I think.

    They diagnosed her with depression and situational anger. We did in/outpatient counseling and she was in anger management classes for 6 weeks.

    The medicine they put her made her crazy that time too. We did have something for a while that helped her sleep, which helped more than any other medicine to date, at that time. Life was rocky off and on throughout highschool.

    She had another incident in high school were she was mad at her brother and threatened him. When I came in the room, she kept telling me to hit her so she could have me arrested. When that didn't work, she threatened to hit me.... which she then tried. I simply held her down and had my son call the police. We live in a small town so the local deputy came, he got her to calm down and recommended I take her to hospital instead of him. I did, they sent her home as she was calm then. We went to the doctor the next day. Again, they said she was just a stressed out teenager. I disagreed strongly. The doctor suggested counciling again.

    After her second child she went into a deep depression and a family friend (doctor) got us with a psychiatrist. He tried medication after medication. She had rage with some, slept all the time with some. After her divorce she stayed at my house a lot because her daughter was very sick requiring hospital stays and surgeries due to a congential airway disorder. I had to have her admitted for a three day inpatient stay during that time because she became dispondant and suicidal. Literally wouldn't move or get up.

    That's when the mood disorder diagnosis came. He had her on abilify, remeron, resperidol, trazadone, welbutron, klonipin, valium... more that I can't think of (please ignore my spelling, I know they are probably all wrong). She had tons of side effects including 6 days in the hospital with a serious bout of pancreatitis. Seems like lots of the medications make her just plain crazy. Others zone her out to a none functioning state.

    A few years ago she seeing her psychiatrist and went of all medications. Now that she has gone back she will not allow me to go or be involved in her treatment. These past two months were she has been absolutely in a tail spin I have tried desperatly to get involved with her care. Because of the new privacy laws, her psychiatrist won't see me, even though he knows me and knows how actively I've been involved in all her struggles. I have been her main support. He also knows I have the kids most of the time. As a last resort, a few weeks ago I even showed up at the psychiatrists office the night of one her visits and counseling times. I told them I had concerns for the grandkids. I was asked to leave. Son in law tried to talk to her doctor about how out of control her behavior has been. difficult child told the psychiatrist that we are just ganging up on her. Son in law was told to hold his concerns for a bit and see how she does on the depakote. Depakote has been increased this week, by the way.

    As far as the grandchildren, social service has gotten two calls. Both times she was cleared by them and no official case was opened. This year the two older grands changed schools. I had them with me from June to Sept, so I enrolled them, took them to the summer orientation, paid their dues, bought school clothes, the whole nine yards. I am a PTA member and have volunteered for parties and the monthly evening reading program. Guess what? difficult child told the school she does NOT give them permission to speak to me about the kids.

    In Nov difficult child took the 7 year old to difficult child's psychiatrist and told him she was having trouble in the classroom and not minding or following direction at school. difficult child did this during a three period that she had taken the kids home because she was mad at me (she was on vyvance at the time and out of sorts). Of course the teacher didn't know how wild it was at home and that granddaughter wasn't getting any rest and her mother was keeping her out late, etc.

    By the way, I called the school counsler too and asked to have a meeting. She promptly told me that she was aware of all she needed to know about my grandchildren, as she has met with difficult child, who is a "loving mother" that "presents well" and that she willl "not be able to speak to me" due to confidentially as requested by difficult child. That same week, psychiatrist puts granddaughter on imipramine and diagnosis her with ODD. UGGGHHH. NO ONE WILL TALK TO ME. THEY DO NOT KNOW THE TRUE STORY. Bio dad is out of the picture, so no voice there either.

    My granddaughter is not ODD, in my opinion. She is being worn down by the negative affects of her environment. She has a take charge personality because she takes on so much responsibility when she is at her home. She can bath, dress and prepare a bedtime bottle for her baby brother. She can fold and put away clothes and clean a bathroom. She can put her little sister in the high chair, feed her, read her a story, sweep the kitchen and do the dishes.... no one makes her do things. She just takes it on, guess she figures somebody needs to do it. I think she is struggling to make it normal/right. Any wonder why she may be bossy with a class of normal first graders that are messy and don't get in line, etc as expected? She trying to mother all of them too. The medicine has taken away her joy. She never smiles, she has rings under eyes and she looks whipped. But I guess as long as she is quiet and not bossy, everyone is good. I'm angry.

    I will add that my daughter is very pretty and charming. I think the high IQ makes things worse, as it adds in her manipulation and games. I would imagine the same is true for many difficult child's. I love her with all my heart. When she is out of sorts, I really don't like her. I wish for better days.

    I have got tell you all, I know this is long, rambling and out of sorts. BUT... just to get it out and for someone to listen is therapy in and of itself. If anyone is still reading, THANK YOU. Excuse the spelling/grammatical errors, run on sentences...... I can't find the spell check and if I start proof reading I will probably either delete this or add more, so I'm just gonna roll with it. Bless you all.

  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome, Gran.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome. I am sorry you are struggling so. It must hurt so badly to see your grands living this way and your granddau so joyless. Do you and son in law speak? Get along?

    It may be that you and sister in law have to work together. HE may be allowed to let you speak with school, or HE may be able to give them a true picture of things. This will help your daughter and grands in the long run.

    It sounds as though she is on the wrong medications AND that she may be involved in drugs. I know you don't watn to think so, but often people will turn to drugs/alcohol to self medicate when things are "off" in their brains. It is very very common.

    also, most of the medications she has been on are known to make those with bipolar/mood disorders cycle rapidly or become very manic or very depressed. Have you done much reading on bipolar? Has her husband? maybe sister in law can talk to her psychiatrist - usually a spouse is allowed to. Heck, just her saying that you are all ganging up on her may be enough for the doctor to think she is paranoid or otherwise having problems.

    I do think that calls to social services should be done regularly. At least it will mean that she is checked on regularly.

    Sending lots of hugs, and suggesting you attend some al anon meetings. Your daughter may not be openly drinking, but her behavior suggests alcohol or drug abuse. I also suggest a bipolar/depression support group if one meets in your area.
  10. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Thank you SusieStar,

    I do talk to my son in law. We talk behind difficult child's back, because of her being so paranoid. I allow him to vent, as he has no other outlet. This weekend he has not called me at all. That is usually a sign that she is somewhat manageable, which makes sense because it's all about her with Valentine's Day, eating out, shopping and all. His parents had the two younger children over night last night, and the older two went for a rare visit with their father. All the kids are due back home this evening. I very much needed the mental break and had tons of cleaning and paperwork to do so I didn't make any calls either.

    I have checked in our area for support groups but as of yet, there is nothing other than al anon, unless a drive and hour or so. The Al Anon group here is very small, a few married women of older alcoholics. They been together so long I gather it's more like their social time. I went twice and felt like we were on different pages with our issues. Thank you for suggesting it.

    I did go see a therapist for myself this Friday. I have been much in thought to what she had to say. Basically she suggests I back off, let things take a natural course. She understands that I am trying to protect the kids and doing what I do for them. However, she kept making the point that I am doing so much that it is covering up difficult child's issues. As someone else replied to me, she said it may get bad for a while, but then hopefully all can be brought to light and difficult child will be forced to address her issues regarding medication change/diagnosis/gravity of her illness. It's gonna be hard for me to not go and take them to school everyday. That's how I know they have eaten breakfast and that they arrive on time. difficult child is awful in the mornings and often makes them cry, is always late. The therapist said for me let it happen. That and other things are hard, because the kids suffer.

    I am going to try and step aside for the sake of letting her be accountable. I need to have a talk with son in law about this so he understands what I'm trying to do. I know it will put him in full on stress mode too, because he struggles with working and handling all this. I believe he has an appointment with difficult child and her psychiatrist on Tuesday. He is going to try to be more pointed with psychiatrist about how bad it has been lately with difficult child.

    I have read alot about bipolar. I believe that is her true diagnosis. difficult child doesn't read anything. She is still in denial even after all these years. She keeps insisting everyone else is the problem, not her. When difficult child was still at home diet and routine sleep pattern, 7-8 hours sleep made a huge difference for her. Sadly she will not manage herself as an adult. And also, I think her mental state gotten worse. When I mention the medication issues, she gets very angry and says she is not bipolar and I do not know what I'm talking because psychiatrist says she is just depressed/mood disorder. As I am unable to go to visits, I do just do not know. I do know that the depakote was increased this last week. Maybe it will help.

    Another thing, the therapists I saw Friday said that although when I showed up for her visit with psychiatrist they refused to see me, it still was a red flag that psychiatrist should be considering. She said the fact that I went respectfully, acted respectfully and merely said I was there because of my concern for the children, this should be something that psychiatrist made note of. Hopefully when son in law trys to address all this again, psychiatrist will put it all together. I pray.

    Also, I want to say to everyone here: I've been reading alot on these boards this weekend. I am so impressed and grateful for the wealth of information here. I very much wish I would have found this site sooner. I am blessed to be here now and the timing this weekend has been wonderful.

  11. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member


    Regarding drug/alcohol use. I'm fairly satisfied that she is not drinking. As far as drug use, I would never say never. She has used pot here and there in her past. She has used other things I'm sure. Son in law and I have talked about it. He believes the Vyvanse caused much of her behaviour that seemed like drug use. As of last week, the neurologist took her off it.

    I just don't know for sure.

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry that interventions haven't worked. Somehow I am nor surprised
    as "presents well" seems to be the main criteria. Drove me nuts! :(

    Like you I became very active in the PTO (small town version of PTA, lol, so there are no dues to pay) and that conduit to the faculty/staff turned out to be very helpful during the times when GFGmom "reclaimed" her difficult child son. I also was very involved in youth organizations (sports etc) which gave me another way to network. Being "one of the parents" in the eyes of the normal aged parents allowed me to hear the scuttlebut of how the kids were doing.

    I wish I could say that both boys have thrived based on participation and love from husband and I. The consolation is that they have always known that we were there for them and that gave them a thread to hang on to when their Mom made poor choices. Sadly the little girl does not have that safe connection and at eight years old she does dishes and sweeps to "earn her keep" :sick: and doesn't know how to count or recognize the alphabet. It's

    Just wanted to send supportive thoughts your way and let you know that I understand your pain. Fingers crossed that detaching is the best choice in your situation and that your daughter will recognize herself in the mirror.
    Hugs. DDD
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I just had another thought.......although it may not be helpful. Perhaps you could request a meeting with the counselor stressing that you are not
    expecting any information from her. Although Mom has dictated that there be no "discussion" of "her children", is it possible that the counselor would lend you an ear for five minutes? I have done that in the past with some success.

    If so, I would suggest that you emphasize that you are not requesting any information and would like five minutes of her time. Plan how the express
    that (1) you love your daughter/gkids (2) that you have been involved in their daily living for x years and (3) that you hope the school will be very observant for signs of inappropriate caregiving (tardiness, absences, lack of hygiene, flat emotional participation etc.) so that as mandated reporters
    the children will have professionals observing their well being. Wrap it up by expressing your appreciation for the wonderful job their faculty/staff does in supporting their student body and adding that although you are following professional advice not to continue your active role you will continue to support XYZ school via PTA activities because of your admiration for their efforts,.

    Something along that line (if doable) would put them on notice to meet their legal obligations, assuring them you honor confidentiality mandates. and will continue to be of help for all their students. Brief. Appreciated.
    Most effort to protect the kids from afar. DDD
  14. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member


    Yes, I did request a meeting with the counselor, which was refused. She did listen briefly on the phone, but I could tell it was just to appease me.

    I am sorry that you have traveled this road with your grandson's and now your precious granddaughter. You struck a cord with me when you said you took comfort in knowing the boys knew you were always there for them. At the present time, my grands know that too.. but this past 2-3 months of difficult child behaving to the extreme has taken a toll on their little hearts and minds I'm afraid. difficult child has talked ugly about everyone, including me. She has said things in front of the children that are very hurtful and untrue. I just hope and pray difficult child doesn't keep it up to the point of causing strife in my relationship with the grands, as far as them trusting and reaching out to me. I know she tells them to keep secrets and "not tell Gran" things. I don't ask them many questions, because I can tell they get very uncomfortable and torn. We are very close. Things tend to "come out" at bed time, that's when they seem to open up about the troubles. I feel so bad for them.

    difficult child has psychiatrist appointment tomorrow. I'm hoping for another medication adjustment for better results.

    Thank you for the thoughts and suggestions. Any insight is greatly appreciated.

  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    You've gotten some good advice. When grandchildren are involved it sure can get confusing and heart breaking. If she is abusive to them and it becomes necessary for them to go to Foster Care, that is the logical consequences for her behavior. You might find out if that were to be the case and the children were to be removed; what your rights might be, and as you are able, provide some appropriate contact and assistance for them. You might offer your adult daughter good medical for her to see a psychiatrist and a therapist. If the medications are in question, don't be afraid to ask the Dr. about this or seek a second opinion.

    Offer to babysit if and when you are able. Talk with her about how abusive behavior will not be tolerated. But as best as you are able, try to detach emotionally from this turmoil. Your daughter is too old for you to be heavily involved with her destructive behaviors. Consider offering her medical services and provide protection and services/care as you are able for the grandkids. Be good to yourself.
    Lasted edited by : Feb 21, 2010
  16. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    I am at a loss right now. It will take more time. Thanks so much for your thoughts and kindness,
  17. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    I do not know how I managed to make some of my last comments bold and underlined......
    that was purely an accident or error of clicks somewhere on my part. I'm still learning to function here. Please overlook it.....