Were you a difficult child?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SomewhereOutThere, Jun 7, 2016.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Anyone who has been here the last few years knows that due to learning and neurological differences and severe depression issues, I was a very difficult child with Ben equally difficult set of parents.

    How about you and if you were had that helped you understand your d c?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Me? A difficult child? The very thought!!!

    Yes. So were my brothers, my parents, my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.
    And yes, it helps somewhat in dealing with your own challenging kid. It doesn't replace real knowledge - diagnoses, educational accommodations and such. But the kid tends to be more accepted in the family circle when the "challenging" traits are shared around a bit in the common gene pool.
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Yes, I was. I am both autistic and bipolar. The bipolar reared its ugly head in my early teens and that combined with the severe social awkwardness caused by the autism made my last several years at home hell for my parents.
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Nope. I was Mary Poppins; practically perfect in every way.

    Seriously, I was a fantastic kid. Obedient and loving. My parents often said that neither me nor my brother gave them a minutes problem. The worst thing I ever remember my older brother getting involved in was a girlfriend of his fighting with him on the phone. He got so mad he punched a hole in the wall. My mom walked into him swinging with both hands and slapped him silly. (Later she said she'd realized after the fact that if he'd hit back he'd have knocked her out.) But I'm sure my brother never even considered it.

    I occasionally (very occasionally) back-talked, but the worst thing I did was some drinking. That's what we did in high school...road drinking. Get some Boone's Farm and drive the back roads. Sure, it was stupid, but people weren't that uptight about drinking and driving in the 80's. It was just kid stuff.

    I would rather have ripped my tongue out before I screamed at my parents and I never, ever, flatly told them NO. I never even considered NOT going to college. I never considered not working. I never considered being disrespectful or cruel or mean to them. I loved them, and made sure they knew it, to the day they died.

    If I regret anything, it's that I didn't stay with them more and didn't visit more. But I will never regret the way I treated them.
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  5. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My parents thought I was...until my sister became a teenager. In truth, no. I never drank, smoked or did drugs. I was boy crazy but I wasn't loose and put myself on birth control at 16. I fibbed about where I was a few times and was always late for curfew, but I never partied or put myself in a situation that would get me in trouble. I graduated top of my class, never got in trouble at school, and worked all through HS. The reason my parents though I was? I was MOUTHY. I am still sarcastic and can have a caustic tongue, but age has tempered it a lot and that wit is mainly used for humor now. I was also argumentative and thought they coddled me too much, and I wanted more freedom (what kid doesn't?) but that was the worst part of my teen life - mouth. I went out, became a productive adult, had some bumps and financial hardships like most but none that fell on my parents or needed their intervention, had a family...etc.

    My sister....well....now I am the "good" one. LOL
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I didn't have any major issues growing up. I had the utmost respect for my parents. They were both very calm people, I do not recall them ever raising their voices.
    My issues started when I hooked up with my ex. I was young and thought I was "in love". I ended up getting pregnant and tried for a a little over a year to make a go at it. My ex could not hold a job for more than a few months and of course it was never his fault that he got fired. I worked at a fast food place but my income was not enough to support us and lets not forget I was naive and turned my paychecks over to ex. He told me that he was the man of the house (I should have ran then :cautious:) and that he would pay all the bills. What a big fat lie that was. Then the late notices started coming, the threat of eviction and so on. So, I called my parents crying not knowing what to do and my dad would send money. My ex always swore that my dad would get paid back.
    Like I said, I tried for a little over a year but came to realize that I had made a huge mistake getting involved with him. I'll be honest, it was pure physical chemistry.
    My parents tried to be supportive and I loved them for that but I felt so slimy taking money from them.
    I left my ex and ended up working two jobs to support myself and son. Ex never paid any child support even though it was ordered through the courts. He never held a job long enough to have his wages garnished.
    I worked two jobs for two years and was then able to get into a large corporation and with a lot of effort I worked my up in the company and had a very nice career for 20 years until hubby and I moved to the Midwest. Once here, I found another awesome job:)
    Because my parents were so willing to help me played a role in my willingness to help my son.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did no drugs, didn't drink, virgin at marriage (honest!) And I never broke the law. My mental illness, untreated back then, and my poor school performance caused me to be difficult. Overly sensitive. Volatile. Wouldn't listen. Fidgety in school (had given up and actually my parents acted as if they didn't care...unusual in a house of two Jewish parents) and had meltdowns. Married early to get out if the house because I knew I would get kicked out and I kept getting fired from jobs which made me feel stupid. It was actually my learning problems, but nobody cared back then.

    So I was a d c, but I wanted so badly to be good. I just couldn't seem to do some things and was very maligned, especially from abusive mother. I loved her dearly, but I hated her too for showing no understanding from her and we'd shout nasty stuff at each other.

    My dad was not home a lot. He did not demean me any more than he demeaned anyone else...lol...and I had less animosity toward him. When my parents used to fight, and they did often, I'd secretly, in my head, cheer my Dad on. "Go, dad!!!!" Like a silent cheerleader.

    My vow as a mom was to never demean my kids or call them names. Mostly I achieved this. When I slip, I instantly say I was wrong and apologize. My mom taught how not to parent.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  8. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    I was a good kid for the most part. A good Catholic girl. I was a bit mouthy at times, but always because of a principal issue. I mouthed off when I was 12 for a girls sleepover grandma refused to let me go to. I argued I was a good girl, never got into trouble. She said, true, but I don't know these other girls. The answer is no. I was mad.

    If we pouted, we got smacked. My grandma always told us, no matter how bad you think you have it, someone always has it worse then you. Those are the wisest words ever spoken.

    I use to stand up for my sister when I thought grandma was being unfair. My sister was the quiet one. When my sister was getting a spanking I told my grandma you can't spank her. Yeah, well, she taught me. I got a spanking too. My grandma put the fear of God into us, literally. We got hit with a plastic fishing pole when we misbehaved. We always addressed adults and Mr or Mrs, we didn't interrupt when they talked, never when they were on the phone. You never asked why when told to do something. You never were given the count of 1, 2 3. One was scary enough.

    I fought off my grandma's son when I was 16. He came over drunk and demanded my grandpas tools. Grandpa was dying of throat cancer. He couldn't talk. My Uncle had grandma backed into a corner, grandpa was crying cause he couldn't help her. So I did. Boy, after that, I was the black sheep in his family. The cops got called, he tore off drunk in his car and never talked to grandma again or me.

    We were expected to do chores without pay. We were expected to work at 16 and help pay our way, our expenses. We were taught morals, compassion respect for elders and others above all. I never dreamed of not making curfew. I never lied.

    I took what I learned and raised my kids pretty similar accept less spanking and hitting for everything. I did take time to explain why they couldn't do something...once. They were allowed to pout without fear of getting hurt. I think this hurt me growing up as I learned to keep so many emotions inside until I exploded. It made me an introvert. I became an extrovert in my 30's due to my job and having to talk tot people face to face and on the phone.

    I was overly sensitive and had fears of rejection and abandonment result of being placed in orphanage at early age. I over came those fears and feelings later in life.

    I didn't stand for any foolishness. I was too busy. I was a strict parent and sometimes, looking back wished I would have taken more time to have fun and enjoy my kids. But I had special needs child who took so much of my time and energy when my other two were little and I didn't spend as much time with them at that time, because they were ok. I had to give the time to the one who needed it the most, Difficult Child,
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2016
  9. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Wow your ex sound and marriage sounds like my ex and marriage. He too didn't pay child support and would quit a job before it got garnished. He would hide bills on me, we would get our electric shut off. I once sold my blood to get gas in my car. Times were bad. I never borrowed any money from grandparents, they didn't have it and I was taught never to borrow, make your way. I resented this in some ways as I could have gotten out of marriage sooner if I would have had some help. I have helped my kids when needed. But two of them are financially secure and don't need any help, just Difficult Child now.

    I too, started in fast food place, went on to be pharmacy technician, hired at hospital, and worked my way up, changing working paths and landed the job I have now all without a college degree and making great money. I did work no one else wanted to do, applied and applied for different jobs at the hospital and rose through the ranks.
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My ex wouldn't let me drive the car nor would he take me to the grocery store. I would walk a mile to the bus, take the bus to the store and get just enough to fit into two bags that I could carry, then back to the bus and the mile walk home. I did this while pregnant and then after my son was born I would have him in one of those "snuggies".
  11. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Me too, lol....
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I was difficult. But not in the class of our kids now. My parents were indifferent so it was a whole different ballgame. I made huge mistakes and luckily survived them. I had no support and nobody to really show me or teach me. But I learned.
  13. karisma

    karisma Member

    Yes I was. I am a mentally ill substance abuser who specialized in acting like I was normal to secure good jobs and blend with the normies, leading a double life of career woman by day, party animal by night. I had many emotional problems as a teen and was always out partying after work. But I managed to go to college for 6 years and stay basically straight for a total of 9 years before returning to the using life.
    When I was 24, i suddenly couldn't sleep for 3 weeks. I would fall asleep but less than one minute later I would wake in a state of such desperate despair, as if my baby had been snatched away from me by a band of murderers. At least that's how I describe the feeling of anxious despair. I finally went to a psychiatrist, and I was getting a B.S. in psychology at the time so I knew this was not right or normal.
    This was shortly after my son's diagnosis. Life was hard. His behavior was just unreal.
    Anyhow I was on anti depressants for 3 years with some success. I eventually lost my mind kinda after my daughter was born and I realized my son and daughter would not be raised together. He was mean to her and when I told his thetapist, they started a CPS case. I was cleared of wrong doing but advised by play therapist to put son in foster care and focus on healthy child. I could not do this. Would never consider it. Daughter raised by dad and I kept son who was not his son.
    I got on drugs. I used for many years to numb the pain. I had great jobs, suffered all we suffer with our ill children growing up and hid my drug use from all. I found N.A. very early on and attended for the last 18 years. A chronic relapser. No one can tell if I'm high so I chaired meetings and attended for years while using. Every year or so I would come clean with the group and tell them I had been using and get a white key tag. I had a year clean once.
    Sadly, I paid a very high price on many fronts. Worse, I am irreversibly brain damaged now and my dopamine cells are dead. I am still very intelligent and competent but I'm convicted of drug felonies and the field I worked in is not tolerant of this. I put my mother through hell.
    I relate to my son. We grew up together in a sense. Or perhaps neither of us has grown up really. I live with friends from my N.A. group. I struggle with severe depression and occasional relapses that I rarely tell anyone about aanymore, except my psychiatric doctors. People who know me have kind of just accepted me somehow the way I am.
    I am a basket case inside and functioning at the same level gets harder with each passing year. I get farther and farther behind the 8 ball, so to speak.
    My son has been crying all day on the patio. today I get to be present in his life if only to let him know he is loved and understood. Its all I Can give today and it's enough
  14. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    I was difficult. I worried my mom. I took off with older men. I tried to be an adult. But at 17 I had my own son that really made me grow up and Take control
  15. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    If my life
  16. Alaska

    Alaska New Member

    And I tried so hard to make it right
  17. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Yes, I was a Difficult Child in my teens as were my brother and sister My dad was alcoholic who frequently beat my mother, brother and sister senseless. I was never touched as I was the quiet one who retreated in the shadows except for one occasion when my father held a knife to my throat as a youngster for refusing to finish dinner. Sadly, my sister the outspoken one who even at age 8 was fearless and would stand in front of my mother to protect her would get the brunt of my dads anger. I also remember thinking he was going to kill my mother and I one night when she had added salt to his homemade wine which he had made for his 21 year old girlfriend. He returned to the house in a rage and my mom and I raced up the stairs to my room and barricaded the door which he was ramming with his body while my mom and I pushed for dear life against a dresser which we used to block the door. I thought for sure he was going to kill us that night my fear of him was so great. Both my parents had lost their parents at early ages and I never had grandparents, aunts or uncles. My fathers alcoholic friends abused my sister and I when my dad passed out and my mother was at work. I remember feeling powerless and angry.

    My parents separated when I was 7 the first time and my sister and I moved into a basement suite with my mom. She worked the 3-11 shift at a hotel and my sister and I only saw her for 45 mins each morning until she returned at midnight. The woman who lived upstairs was supposed to keep an eye on us but never did, nor did she ever give us anything to eat and as a result I would be the kid that other mothers would feed or have at their homes all the time. My sister probably did the same as we never bring up those days. My parents eventually got back together but eventually I returned home on Christmas Eve where I had been staying with a friend waiting for my mom who got off at midnight that evening. We walked home in the snow and when we entered the house we found most of our belongings gone. He had left to go live with his girlfriend and despite the season I remember jumping up with joy that this horrible person was gone. Life was tough for my mom supporting three children and working long hours and all of us got into drugs- me at 12 into hard drugs, skipping school and shop lifting. I often feel I grew up without parents as even as young as 6 or 7 I came and went as I pleased, no one asked where I had been, we never sat down for meals together except for Christmas and Easter and I was often sleeping at friends homes and never needed permission. I realized as I grew older this was not normal for most families but it was
    all I knew at the time. At 14 I was dating a 25 year old biker and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I didn't respect my mother, had a gutter mouth and continued with heavy drug use and even sold hashish for the biker group. I look back at this and don't recognize myself.

    At 16, I gave up the drugs and despite quitting school,I eventually returned - didn't drink or do drugs after that time which continues to this day. For years people would often comment if I was always this happy as I believed I was at that time. I felt somehow I escaped a life of hell. I became a mom for the first time at 18 - was very responsible at that age, rarely went out, worked several jobs, left home at 19, put myself through university and rarely ever associated with my family. Instead I integrated myself with people with nice families, raised my children to be around people who were "normal". My relationships involved decent caring men My children had happy, stable childhoods, I was very involved in the community, president of the parents committee at their schools, hockey coach, boy scout leader .....think I became an over achiever to make up my own background and in retrospect became too involved in my children's lives but I wanted so much for my kids to feel loved and cared for. I only saw my mom occasionally as my brother was an addict and still lived in my moms home and my sister eventually moved to an isolated area on a mountain after the end of her marriage. I believe it was her way of escaping. My family deals with crisis by escaping and I realized I too had done the same by escaping from them. I tried to help my mom numerous times but she enabled my brother. I felt she choose him and his violent behaviour due to drug use instead of me who was raising my child, going to university as well as working part time.

    My brothers violence erupted one night so that he aimed a shotgun at my head in front of my son who was screaming. I called the police to have him removed. Once released my mom allowed him back into the home and I moved away and rarely have gone back. I did not want my son to experience that kind of childhood filled with violence. I raised him on my own for 9 years until I met my youngest son father. My youngest had a stable environment - two parents, nice neighbourhood , good school until his dad left unexpectedly when he was 14 to live with his best friends wife. I never saw it coming. My youngest took it really hard and was involved shortly with drugs afterwards. I also think that my gene pool was not so great.

    Now I've come full circle ...I'm currently stepping up to help my mom, sister and brother. My two sons , the eldest whom has Aspergers and the youngest with mental health and drug issues who is currently in jail. I sometimes ask "what went wrong?" I tried so hard to escape that destiny that befell my family members but see my youngest son with the same issues. Apologies for my long ramble I've never told my story to anyone with the exception of my significant others who have "snippets of my background" but not the full story.
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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nature...you are amazing.
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  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I guess I was - I was more of a free spirit who did and said basically what I wanted to. My mouth got me into more trouble than anything else. Moved out at 18 and in with my boyfriend who eventually became Husband 1.0. Dramatic breakup, lived with a crazy man, another dramatic breakup involving police, lived with Miss KT's father, got pregnant, got married, got divorced, single parent, ran into Hubby (we were friends in high school), started dating, got married, all the Miss KT craziness...

    And yet, I finished college, worked for ten years in retail management, went back to school for my teaching credential, and still have not completely conformed to the expected 9 - 5 work schedule.
  20. mtdenise

    mtdenise Member

    I was not a difficult child at all. That was my older brother, although he did get his life together (sort of). Maybe seeing the stress he caused my parents made me do things by the book. I would literally think about how my parents would feel if I did X and then either do it or not based on that. I guess I was a goody two shoes. LOL!