One step forward, Two steps back

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    The board jinx strikes again. Ok, not really. We're not really 'there' yet, but tonight was another of those angst filled nights that we haven't had in a bit. Which of course is all relative because I really have no concept of time anymore.

    I just don't know what to do with it. She's miserable, she's unhappy, she doesn't have any friends, she never gets to go out and have fun. She completely resists any and all possible resolutions. She's stupid, she's going to fail, school is stupid, she can't do it (she tests above average in all subject areas), she gets angry and frustrated with it and she can't help it and she can't help how she reacts to it - she has no control over it. She's shutting down tonight.

    She's not 4. I can't schedule playdates and fun activities. I do things to get her out of the house, but with my health that is limited. Told her that if she keeps doing what she has been doing, she's going to get the same results. If she wants different results, she has to do something different - step outside her comfort zone. She can't. I'm not her, I don't know and I don't believe her when she says she can't. Told her that can't is a stopper word and there is nothing I can do with the word "can't"...that it limits all possibilities.

    Talked about going back to regular school beginning of next quarter (about 2 weeks) so it would be a change of focus, get her out of the house, get her around her peers, etc. She can't start in the middle of the year. Asked her to think about it when she's not emotional so she can think objectively, to consider the pros and cons. She has, she can't do it, everyone teases her about something. Reminded her that the kids are older now, as is she, and they have matured and 8th grade is a lot different than 6th grade in that respect.

    I don't know what to do with this. I cannot fix it for her. And I just don't know how to get her out to do what she needs to do to help herself.

    Any advice, ideas, anything at all is welcome. She has so much potential. Something has to change.

  2. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    This is probably obvious, but didn't she stop taking her medications? Her depression may be situational, but her anxiety maybe isn't.

    My difficult child 2 has this kind of anxiety sometimes, not over the same issue, but where there is a clear answer and she just can't do it and there is a lot of anguish involved. I really think they can't really help it due to their brain chemistry.
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I know, FOP, and the medications issue kept playing through my mind the entire time. When she is like this, however, is not the time to discuss it with her. There is no reasoning with her in this state.

    I feel like such a horrible parent. I second and triple guess everything that I do. I just don't know what the right answer is.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I know exactly what you mean. Luckily, my difficult child doesn't usually follow me when she is this way, like Wynter does, so I can get away. It is awful to watch. Even when I leave, I am still bothered by it.

    I think it was Loth that told me about my daughter's medical treatment to pick a path, stay the course, and pray. That might apply here, too.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather, if second and third guessing makes us a bad parent, then 98% of this board is with you girl.

    While reading your post, I had the exact same thought as FOP - depression. The thoughts she is voicing out loud sound very familiar. Before any thoughts of changing school and such, I would address the medications issue. She needs that social life right now - it is so very important for girls of her age. If she were a little more under control with depression (if that is in fact the issue), perhaps the anxiety would lessen a tad.

  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I hate to say this but I think it is time to take the control of the medications issue out of her hands entirely. She really needs to understand that she has to take them regardless of whether she thinks they are helping or not. It is too obvious that they are helping. For Wynter, at least for awhile, she needs the medications much like a diabetic needs insulin.

    As you know, there are no answers for her angst. You two have gone around this circle repeatedly. Nothing you say can or will make a difference and, of course, no suggestion you make is going to work. Wynter may well be one of those of who will wallow in her misery her entire life. Sadly, there really are people like that -- it is easier to be sad or angry and miserable than to try to change. That is her choice. Right now, about the only thing you can do is force her to take medications but even that option is going to be gone soon.

    Heaher, you are an awesome parent. I doubt many of us would have the patience to deal with Wynter's teen angst. Most of us would have told her enough is enough and shoved her out the door and back to school. We wouldn't be willing to sacrifice so much so she could have special clothing, fangs, etc. We certainly wouldn't let her verbally abuse us. Your love for your kids is palpable. Even with all of your health issues, you still manage to listen to them, give them what they need and want, especially the tools to spread their wings.

    Quite frankly, don't let Wynter guilt or browbeat you. You deserve better and you certainly don't need to feel guilty because she is unhappy. She has the means to do something about it. She could volunteer. She could take her medications. She could join a local youth group. And so on and so on. Her misery is her choice. whether she wants to own it or not.

    So, put her back on medications and pat yourself on the back that you haven't killed her. Me, I'd have shoved her out the door rather than keep listening to the same stuff over and over. You're doing great!
  7. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Does she love animals?, Would she consider volunteering at an animal shelter? It wouldn't do a great job of getting her around people but it would at least get her out of the house with a little structure to her week.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree it sounds like she's got a medication issue. You have to find some way to get her to stay on them consistently.

    In reg to saying, "I can't," when my difficult child did that, I used to charge him 25 cents ea time he said it. If he wouldn't get the money, I'd take it from his wallet or tell him it would come out of his allowance. After a cpl wks, it worked.
    If you can find something like that for your daughter, it may work. (If you use money, it would have to be a larger amt. If she gets an allowance, it would have be be 1/2 to 3/4 of the entire wk's amt.)

    I don't know what she's into except for goth. TV? Animals? Art?
    Wish I could help more.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    You have already heard this from many others. Sheesh if anyone is the Queen of second guessing it's me. You are a great parent. Second guessing is what we do because we care so much I think with each decision that we make hoping it will impact our kids positively. it's trial and error the dr tells me all the time and everyone else here. There is no quick fix or magic answer i'm getting that now.

    yet your frustration sounds much like mine last night. I run into the same exact problem with mine diff is mine is younger and i can schedule the play dates and control her a bit more.

    do the medication thing like other's are suggesting. i can't remember all your posts, yet sounds like she doesn't like taking the medications. yet if it worked in the past and she truly requires them than i'd say begin again. someone had mentioned animals.......does she like animals? they say when their teens like that having an outside passion ie animals horses etc is good therapy for them. see with my difficult child i think depression is caused by anxiety level and social anxiety and adhd issue and sensory issues. with yours it may be the other way around.

    take a deep breath if you can. i'm totally feeling your frustration level right now i know it stinks and you feel helpless like no matter what you do it never seems to work. i often find once i read the responses take a deep breath and proceed forward i'm so much better.

    i'm sorry your so frustrated today. :)

    my thoughts are with you