Update on difficult child and the grands

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dstc_99, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I dont know how to describe the pain of having a child who willingly choses to leave your home. I don't how to describe the added pain that is involved when your own parents show up to support it. I can't begin to describe the frustration of trying to explain to a child that leaving will rip an irreparable hole in the family. I can't describe how hard it is to hear that your child is willing to rip the family to shreds in order to make herself happy. That she is aware things will never be the same and that we will most likely lose any relationship we have ever had. I can't explain how it feels to have to tell your younger child that her sister doesn't want to live here anymore. I really can't explain how to do all this with your husband in a war zone unable to communicate with you on a regular basis.

    All I can say is I feel dead inside. I am completely conflicted about what to do. I am furious with my parents for enabling my child to pick up and leave while knowing that I did not support that decision. I am more furious that my husband has had to threaten to bring in the legal system for them to return her. Their lack of understanding that my husband is on another continent and that we can't communicate and therefore our feelings may not be 100% in alignment. I didn't think anything could rip my relationship with my mother and father any more than her mental health already has but this has done damage that we may never survive. Knowing that the two people who are supposed to love and support you more than anything in the world feel you are a bad parent and feel they have the right to take your child from you is like being gutted.

    I am unwilling to drag my parents into court over this but have made it clear that I want her returned. I did however break down last night after hours of grueling comments and tell difficult child that I could not physically make her return and I would transfer her school records. Of course hours later her father ordered her home via a Facebook discussion and I respect his decision. He is legally her father and has the right. I feel the same way however I am so emotionally drained at this point that I don't have it in me to fight any longer. Knowing that the child you have fought, cried, and bled for hates you is so painful I don't know how I will survive. I know that no part of me will ever feel whole without her in my life. I can't believe I am facing one of the best days of an Army wife's life, the homecoming, and I am terrified to go pick my husband up because he will know when he sees me that I am not whole. I don't even know if he will be able to love me if I have ruined this family while he is gone.

    I sought guidance from my therapist and difficult child's therapist and neither felt that I needed in patient care they felt I needed to come in on a regular basis for out patient care. difficult child's therapist also agreed to mediate family therapy in order for us to learn to communicate better. Of course difficult child feels this is a waste of time and is refusing to participate. I am taking a few days off work in order to get a grip on my depression and get my feet back under myself.

    I guess my question is when do you give up? When do you walk away? Can you ever walk away? Will the pain ever end if I have to? Will my marriage and my younger child survive this? Will my heart survive this pain?

    And NO I am not suicidal. Even though that might be easier than feeling this pain I would never leave my children without a mother or my husband without a wife intentionally.
  2. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    I have no real advice for you, honey, only lots and lots of hugs!!!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know if I will give a popular answer but it will be an answer.

    I am so sorry for all you are going through emotionally first off. This is very difficult for you as I can tell from your post.

    Right now I think you need to step back a bit and take a breath. When is homecoming for your husband? If he has any substantial length of time left to go I think I would take him out of the picture for the immediate time being because he really cant do anything and you certainly dont want him focusing on problems at home when he needs his entire focus being over there. If that means blocking the two of them on facebook, so be it.

    Now about you, your daughter and your parents. I realize it sounds like an awful idea but maybe her going to stay with her grandparents for awhile isnt a bad thing. You have been having a difficult time with her and they havent been exactly understanding of what you have been going through. I see this as maybe a win/win for both of you. You could get some respite time and your parents would get to see exactly what you go through on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. They may come to understanding of how difficult it is to live with and raise a child with these types of issues.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I think Janet is right about stepping back and catching your breath...a few days off from work (and everything else) may do you a world of good...

    Then, re-evaluate your situation. As I recall - you posted that you told difficult child to "pack her bags"....

    What was so bad that made you want her to leave?

    And now, what is so bad that you want her to come back?

    I hope that your therapist helps you to sort through your feelings and your goals...

    Good luck!
  5. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    My husband will be home in a matter of days and is technically no longer in a war zone as of around 10am today. He is in holding outside the war zone waiting on a flight to return home. But yes that has been a huge concern with him trying to deal with the stress of a deployment and difficult child causing me so much trauma.

    I actually agree that she and I need some time apart. I think that is why I broke and was going to allow her to stay with her grand parents against my wishes. I did tell her to "pack her bags" because she was so disrespectful to me and our home. My intentions were to get her to a safe place even though she isn't suicidal according to the doctors. As soon as she called my parents they offered the perfect easy get away. Run to grandma and grandpa and continue on with life. I offered her multiple options to avoid leaving and she refused them all because they required her to do some work.

    I would like to discuss all of this with my husband but right now as I mentioned he is out of the loop for a few days. I know he is thinking the same way I am. She is 17 soon to be 18 and we will never get her back if we allow her to go. Her anger at us is so great that I am concerned for her and the people around her in the future. She has already been punching holes in walls, drinking, having unprotected sex, and most recently punched a girl "just for fun" and because the girl asked her to. All of these things show me she is completely unprepared to face the real world alone. She can't handle her anger and she cant have a healthy discussion with anyone. As her parents we feel it is our responsibility to ensure we have done our best to help her earn those tools prior to dumping her on others. There is no way we can do that while she has her head buried in the sand at the grandparents house.

    If after her father returns and we are a whole family again she still wants to leave I think we can make a decision then. Right now too much is in limbo and that is causing way to much stress. The decision she is making is based off of that stress and her hatred of me. She needs to be here when her father returns just as much as he needs her to be here for him. If she isn't it will do major damage to their relationship.

    I am working on dealing with that and learning how to deal with my responses to her anger as well as reading some books and taking that time to make myself a better mother. It wont happen over night but I have consistently been working on myself for a few months now and visiting this site for guidance as well as seeing a therapist when I can. All I am asking is that she give it the same effort the rest of the family is.
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I know it is difficult for you to have your daughter move out - but look at this as a way to work on your relationship. If and when she wants to move back, I would tell her that you would love to work on that, and make appts with the therapist on guidelines to make it happen. I don't know when she turns 18, but this was probably going to happen any way. Having her away from her old boyfriend, and friends she drinks and parties with is probably a good thing. If she wants to trun things around she will... if not, she will find the same type of friends there and her grandparents will have to deal with thesame kinds of problems. Hopefully it is a wake up call. Maybe for the grandparents and your daughter too. KSM
  7. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    She is gone. She came home and refused to stay. She ran away. The grandparents found her and brought her back but she refused to stay again. I have lost my daughter.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If she were, say, fourteen, I'd urge you to fight your parents for your child. After all, your parents or not they have no right to take your child. BUT...she is almost eighteen and if she wants to leave, she will. Your mom is the one with schizophrenia, right? I'll bet it won't be two months before grands beg you to take your daughter back if she keeps up her behavior. And her moving out at her age does not mean your family is forever ripped apart. It's common for eighteen year olds to move out and on. What may tear you apart is difficult child's behavior. You haven't lost your daughter to your grands. You are losing her to drugs, alcohol, and her dangerous lifestyle! And, yes, I said drugs too...it would be safe to say she is probably using some drugs.

  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I think you need to see your therapist tomorrow. Your thoughts are very polarized and catastrophizied. One teenage fit does not mean that you have lost your daughter.

    She may be one of the ones that has to learn the hard way. I would suggest letting your parents deal with her for the next two weeks while you prepare for and enjoy your husband's homecoming with your 12 year old. After husband has settled back in, then you can turn your attentions back to difficult child.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I have read some of your past posts I don't feel like "I really know" what's going on at your house. I do, howeer, know exactly how things can go South PDQ with a seventeen year old. I have lived that scene many times. Please note...NONE of my defiant teens hated me. Your difficult child doesn't hate you either. She is at an awful age and is likely to do and say any darn thing that comes to mind BUT it does not indicate that you are a lousy Mom. been there done that!

    I strongly...and with very sincere experienced caring...encourage you to stop blaming yourself. Yeah, maybe you did or said something you wish you could take back BUT it is on her shoulders. Regardless of whether she has any s.a. issues, practice repeating the Serenity Prayer. It will help you sort through your emotions...I guarantee. Hugs DDD
  11. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Thanks! I know she doesn't hate me but her anger and her words make it feel that way. I realize she would be moving out soon anyway. As for losing her the truth is that in less than 5 months I could be in another country for all I know. It is time for us to move and she wont be coming with us. The next 5 months is most likely our last chance to try and build this connection. Maybe I haven't lost her but I can honestly say that I am losing my chances at getting her back.

    While I may seem polarized and catastrophic I am not focused on me when I am in my home. I probably focus on me when I am here because this is the only place I can. I am a military wife and my husband is deployed. I dont have a support system here and I don't have a support system from my family. This is the only place I can come to vent my stress. Sorry I don't do it in a manner that doesn't seem selfish.

    Seeing a therapist is something I have been trying to do and will continue to do for my health. My youngest will be attending as well and if her father wants to attend with us he will be welcome.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand how it can be lonely on a base and how it may seem like with the probable move it may seem that if you move that then your daughter will be lost forever. I still think you are looking ahead and seeing the worst case scenario's.

    Teen daughter's especially are rough in those last years heading from 17 onward until they begin to grow a brain again. That does happen. Believe me when she has a family of her own you will become the smartest woman she knows. It will be amazing how smart you suddenly become. As my son told me, somewhere along the line I suddenly got very intelligent...lmao.

    All is never lost as long as we have hope and there is life.
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    dstc_99: The problem isn't that you would be selfish or even that you would sound selfish, you certainly don't. And we would be the first to encourage you to take care of yourself first. But it sounds like you are just now seeing things very bleak and desperate and getting stuck to worse case scenarios. Taking the step back, breathing a little and talking with therapist may help you see more options in your situation. And to see that it is not so much all or nothing just now. Your daughter is 17, she is likely having some very common 'ruining the nest' behaviour on the top of her difficult child issues. Many, many families go through it and it can be painful even with very well adjusted kids. They start to grow out of the home and the transition is *itch for everyone. Those days when they are starting to be too big to fit under parents roof but not yet big enough to have their own roof.

    Even if your daughter would end up living some of this transition period under her grandparents roof, it is very unlikely that would end your relationship. In fact it may help it mend more quickly. My difficult child moved out when he was 17, lives three hours away and now two years later we have better relationship and are closer than in almost ten years.

    Of course it is up to you and your husband to decide how to proceed, but it could help, if you could wait till he is back and you can all sit down and try to have a calm conversation about the different options. First you and your husband, then later you two with your parents and your daughter.
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Oh no, honey, you misunderstood!!! Those thinking distortions aren't selfish, not at all, but they are signs of depression. I struggle with them too. I was actually suggesting that you be a little more 'selfish' and focus on getting some help for you by seeing your therapist and enjoying your husbands homecoming!

    Sometimes teenagers who rebel against their parents end up having stronger relationships once they are adults. She hates that someone else can set rules for her. With my just-turned-18 year old, I can express my opinion on her choices and she lets me participate in her school meetings and talk to her therapist, but I remind her that all decisions are hers. We went from her screaming at me within 2 minutes of nearly every conversation, to having 30-45 minute phone calls without her screaming at all. She still has significant issues (living in a TLP right now) but she no longer 'hates' me since I have no power over her (course, now she hates TLP staff).