Who was a teen difficult child and what did you do to get the label? True confessions!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was one.

    I did not drink at all, smoke pot or do any drugs, and I was a virgin when I got married (HONEST!), but I was still a difficult child. I had trouble in school so I didn't try. Never did homework at all. Didn't care if I failed. Although I didn't do the "naughty" stuff, I had access to a car at all times so after I got my license I wasn't above helping my less cleancut friends get to places where THEY could smoke, drink, and have sex. I helped a friend run away once. I mouthed off terribly to my parents. At times, I raged and even threw things. I lied all the time about where I was. If my parents tried to punish me I would start to cry and say, "I'm going to k ill myself" which always stopped them cold.

    Although I suffered from some very serious and real depression from thirteen on up, I really never meant to kill myself and only said it to get my way. It usually worked because my mother, in particular, was really concerned about my mental health issues.

    I would cut school so that I didn't have to go to gym, which I hated. I deliberately made my parents think I was taking drugs because they were always asking me if I took them. I figured if they didn't believe me, may as well let them worry. I did the same thing with sex. I wasn't sexually active, but my mother was extremely worried that I was, so I just let her think so (same reason as the drugs). When having a knock down, drag out fight with mostly my mom I would rage and swear and scream. I was NOT fun. I got my payback with my daughter who took drugs...lol. My mom used to say, "I hope you have ten like you!" Well, no, only one, but she almost gave me a heart attack!

  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    :redface: I *think* I may have been a difficult child....baaaahaaaaahaaaaaa! Of course I was!

    Unlike MWM, I did drink, smoke cigarillos, pot and was definitely NOT a virgin when I married. I was a great student until 10th grade, which coincides with the start of my drinking and pot use and sexually active lifestyle, sadly. My mom, in her wisdom, pulled me out of school in 11th grade, sent me out of state to live with my sister. When I returned, I had my poopy together, doubled up my classes and graduated with my class. It was the hardest year, but I did it.

    So, yeah, I *suppose* I may have been a difficult child, lol. :bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile::bigsmile:
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, I was certainly the difficult child of my family, and the first in my crowd to do all the "bad girl" stuff - drinking, smoking, sexual activity. I do have to put a caveat in about the drinking, though. I was raised in a sub-culture where drinking was 'acceptable' for teens. There were big fancy parties where we were actually served alcohol from about age 13 on. It was never done overtly because although at a "private club" it was not unusual for cops to show up due to a noise complaint, but it was common practice. As we got older, there were also teen parties primarily to showcase the guy's band, and alcohol always flowed as if we were adults. Even though that was our "culture", there were still places alcohol was considered "taboo" like at the summer all girls camp run by nuns. difficult child that I was, I was the first in my age group to blaspheme the camp with alcohol.

    I also remember wicked arguments with my Dad, but I don't think I really raged. Yelling certainly, but would calm down and "give back" everything he ever gave me (as if that was a punishment to him) I do remember at least once I had brought up everything that would fit on the kitchen table and he still wasn't budging, so I brought my mattress up as well and blocked the stairs with it. Didn't phase him, and I have absolutely NO recollection of how things got back to my room. Turns out I was struggling with unidentified/undiagnosed depression for most of my life and have HUGE holes in my memory. Big sis even claims that we once had a hormonal fight and I pulled a knife on her. Try as I might I can't even pull up the tiniest flash of a memory of that.

    School was never an issue until college. Never studied a single night and graduated with high honors. That didn't work out so well in college. Late teens to early 20's I was highly sexually active to the point of almost self destructing. Experimented very mildly with drugs, but just wasn't for me. Rarely made GOOD decisions, but didn't make any hellaciously bad ones either because I didn't want to get in trouble. I was always searching for the "right" crowd to fit into, but never found it because it doesn't exist.

    I think I'm a perfect easy child/difficult child split. Even today.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If I had to parent me, then I would definitely consider myself a difficult child.
    My parents? Thought I was an angel. Maybe because they compared me to my siblings... who were NOT angels?

    Major anxiety issues, totally inflexible, over-the-top ADD, probably a host of other non-diagnosed stuff... maybe even Aspie? Who knows. It was in a time when there was no help for any of this - not at home, not at school, not from medical system. And because I was "a good student" and "not getting into trouble", I was assumed to be doing fine. Always home on curfew or before, worst thing that happened if I borrowed the car was... a flat tire (once) and running out of gas (as in, having enough gas to park the car back home, but not enough to start it again... a repeated scenario!)

    reality check: I was NOT doing fine - but that's a whole other story; started getting help after I left home-town in mid-20s. In fact, my issues may be part of what drove my siblings over the brink. Yes, I was THAT over-the-top.

    I was not surprised when the same traits showed up in my kids.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I was. I had major depression and a whole lot of anger. I smoked cigarettes and drank occasionally, but didn't use drugs. And I got pregnant at 17, but I figure there I was just following family tradition.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm seriously not answering this question! :p
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I don't believe I was a difficult child. However, I was able to think fast and talk even faster, and I really didn't care all that much what rude people had to say. I got in trouble for silly stuff, like having breakfast at McDonald's with as many friends as could fit in my car rather than go to the senior meeting. We got caught getting back on campus, and when the principal asked where we'd been, I told him the truth. We were hungry and senior meetings are boring. He laughed and thanked my for my honesty.

    School was also boring. I was one of the smart ones who would much rather read a book or talk to someone than pay attention to a teacher. I also threw eggs, TP'd houses, and learned that pouring rice krispies in the driver's seat of someone's car and topping it with pear nectar makes a most satisfying gooey mess.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I was. But Ill only answer with some of the milder stuff as there is much my kids don't know, and I'd rather keep it that way.

    I never did homework, with one exception. Homework to me was ridiculous. I had to go to school from 9am to 3pm. If teachers wanted to teach me something, they could do it between those hours. Home time was my time, not school time. Nothing teachers tried worked. No threat would get me to budge. Probably didn't help that mom never asked about homework, all she ever cared about was the end result. The one exception? Geometry. I don't think in 3d.....ok, that may not be an accurate description......but no matter how hard I tried those darn drawings never looked 3d to me so I couldn't think of them that way. Know what I mean?? (3d movies look the same as any other movie to me too, if there are effects, I don't see them) But I happened to have a teacher of the old school who was determined I'd not only pass her class but I'd pass with an A. I spend both studyhalls and lunches in her other classes, I was with her before and after school. So I did "homework" for her. I figured if she cared enough to do all that for me, the least I could do was try at home.

    Regardless of my philosophy of homework I made very good grades especially in high school. Drove the teachers nuts.

    I started smoking at 12 yrs.

    I helped a friend runaway......and went with her......3 different times. Same "friend" tried to murder me after murdering her boyfriend.

    I tried pot, didn't do squat for me, didn't see what all the fuss was about. With a mom and sis that were nurses, whom I'd helped study when they were in school......I was bright enough to know street drugs were script drugs and I wasn't touching them.

    Skipped half days in school and got drunk on vodka. Whole days were more noticeable and they called your parents.

    Ran with a motorcycle "club" for 2 yrs. They looked like pure terror on 2 wheels but were actually some of the nicest guys you'd ever hope to meet.

    Told my mom that my 18th birthday would be a drinking party and I planned to get rip roaring drunk. Big sis had it at her house......and I downed more everclear punch than anyone had ever seen before....and a couple of bottles of lord knows what else until she finally cut me off. That's when we discovered I never get sick (which is dangerous) and I never get hangovers. Not to mention I can drink most people under the table.

    Ran away to chicago once......that turned out very badly. Which also turned out to be my turn around point.

    Yet I still managed to graduate with twice the credits of my classmates. Someone neglected to tell me I could graduate early.

    Other than the smoking.....I was fairly easy child until my grandma passed away. It went straight to hades after that for about 3 yrs.

    And still, I was a virgin until the age of 18. I also didn't get pregnant before I got married, which every other female in my family did, including my mom and grandmother.

    My poor mom thought my difficult child bros had put her through heck, until me. Which is why my own kids got away with very little. I'd already been there done that and knew all the tricks. If I hadn't done it one of my friends had.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Witz! I think I will take a stab at it if i can remember everything...lol. Ive taken my night medications so I may get a big foggy and lost somewhere in the middle...lol.

    I have always been a difficult child. My mother started abusing me verbally and emotionally from infancy onward. I was sexually abused by next door neighbor. The older sister of one of my best little guy friends. Talk about awkward. I didnt want to tell but she stuck these pencil erasers up me and I couldnt just leave them there ya know! I was 3, I had no clue how to get them out...lol. So I told my mom and dad who then put me in my room and went to the girls house and they discussed it all over there and everyone decided how to handle the older girl. She got treatment, placement somewhere, I never really knew. Meanwhile back at my house, my parents came in and told me to go to bed and my mom would take me to the pediatrician in the morning. He removed 4 of those stick on V shaped rub ber pencil erasers from inside me, handed me a sucker on the way out the door and patted me on the head. My mom told me we just would forget such ugly things happened because it could have been much worse. I could have been raped!

    I was a rather miserable child my whole life. Never enjoyed much in life unless it was vacations with my cousins. Those were bright points in life. The only times I felt at home and accepted. I wish I had grown up in that big warm family place. All my birthday party pics have me frowning or crying in them. Im no but so sure I didnt have some social skills deficits myself because I was so naive back then. People could convince me of the stupidest things. Like at the end of 5th grade, and at this time we actually had hand printed report cards where the teacher had to fill out the grades, average then, write out the comments, then then write on the back if you had passed on to the next grade,

    Well I had worked my butt off that year and made all A's that year but one B in one subject. Almost a perfect report card. Obviously I had passed. The teacher just failed to check the box that I had passed. They kids teased me for over an hour while we waited for our parents to come pick us up that last day saying I had failed and I just cried and cried. I spent the whole summer worrying and convinced I was going back to 5th grade in the fall. Thats about the time my mom decided maybe keeping me in private school might be doing me as much harm as public school could. While I was learning great, I certainly was still getting picked on. I finished up 6th grade in that private school and went into the shark pool that is better known as Junior High...lol.

    Thats a whole other story unto itself.
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Welcome to our board Memeliza.....
    I urge you to copy and paste your post into the General Parenting Forum and start a new thread- there are lots of people there that can help you one on one rather than your concerns being "stuck" in the middle of someone else's thread.
    FWIW we have all been in your shoes, and we can help - just better if you post a new thread. :)
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    OMG I was totally the certified difficult child of the family....pretty much a label that was affixed to my forehead from the time of birth....yet any parent here would have been glad to have had me compared to a real difficult child if you know what I mean......UNTIL I hit 16 and then the poop hit the fan.

    I pretty much became the typical rebellious teenager, i.e. bad boyfriend, lying about where I was, doing drugs, sex etc. Add into the mix some major depression, and my parents threw me in a mental hospital where I stayed 6 months. My actual final destination according to these hospital crack pots was 2 years of hospitalization because I was schizophrenic. Really, don't even get me started - the things I saw in that place and the things they did to patients - One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest comes to mind. I am in NO way schizophrenic, as I have seen multiple shrinks to get closure on this diagnosis - but I do have severe depression. The only reason they would tell a parent this is to get $....when they found out that my parent's insurance had run out I was "let out" on the condition I was "good". Grrr.

    I got out and was a saint - graduated from HS - and abruptly, on the day I graduated - moved out. I got a job, paid rent, but did drugs and partied my behind off for 2 more years....and then. I was done. I don't know, just done. It was weird. I was simply, one day, just "grown up" and ready to move on in my life. Unfortunately I was still in *love* with Matt's bio Dad whom I married in the attempt to save - uh huh - that worked. Not. At age 46 he is still the same drug addict he was when we met when I was 16.
  12. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Sigh, my family considers me a difficult child NOW. I guess it all depends on your definition of difficult child.

    When a child I had about 5 rages. Completely destroyed rooms. I was molested as a child and had some anger. I also did not attach to my dad, but he doesn't attach well to anyone. When a teen I ran away from home twice; didn't last long, just a few hours. I would also have some fights with my dad. He was abusive and I would push his buttons on purpose. I was also severely depressed and would go for days without talking to anyone. Funny thing is my family considers all that normal. Mom will bring up my past behavior (or worse my brother's past behavior) as proof that my kids are normal. It just takes the wind out her sails when I say "Mom, that is not normal."

    Now that I'm older they don't like me. I'm the one who will point out the family problems. I'm the only one in my family willing to call my brother a pedophile. I got my kids diagnosis while the rest of the family looked on in horror. (Now I'm helping my sister through the process. Ha I'm rubbing off.) I'm the one that told my other brothers fiance about the pedophile brother. I think they're scared of me. I take the face to face disagreement approach (I am polite) while they problem solve by back stabbing and laughing at you behind your back (but in front of husband or your kids). Yeah, I'm a bit bitter.
  13. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I was but no where near close to Danny. I was raised to be independent and had to take care of the house and my brother when I was 11, and I think a lot of the trouble started when I wanted to be independent on my own behalf once I hit my teens-comming from an Italian catholic background, needless to say that didn't go down well.

    Looking back now, my mothers "fear based" parenting skills was not a good match for me. For every stupid thing she said that didn't materialize just fed my belief she was full of it. Gems such as "don't take off your coat in the theatre" When asked why, she said men were watching for kids without a coat, and snuck up on them an injected them with drugs so they could molest them. "Don't wear a bra to bed" When I asked her why, she said I would get pregnant" You have to be home by 9:00. When asked why, she said girls always get in trouble after 9:00 because the only thing there is to do is have boys molest them" Couldn't use tampons as it would make me lose my virginity.

    Its funny now but it was no wonder I suffered from anxiety/panic attacks when I was little but after a while she had no credibility what so ever when she said something. I can't even claim to being a really bad difficult child, I never cut school, never dabbled in drugs till I was like 22, and it was rare that I even drank anything - only thing I did do was sex, first time at 14, more out of curosity just to see what she was making such a big deal about. I remember it was after school one day, around 2 in the afternoon, so that 9:00 business that I was warned about..just one more pfffffft.. ROFLMBO

    I did leave home at 17 - too much conflama - I wanted to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and didn't like the constant conflict and control attempts at home. She was always sure I was sleeping my way cross country in a drug induced haze, dragged out of my house by those "bad" friends of mine (you know, the one that wore too much eyemakeup and like to dress in black), but nothing could have been further from the truth. Course there were years of Mr. Toad's Wildride for me being pretty much impulsive and clueless about the world, but its been a grand adventure.

    The only thing I feel sorry about is that I never had a real relationship with my mother - I would never be the daughter she envisioned and wanted, someone quiet, dutiful, a homebody who would be content to spend my time sitting with her on the front porch dis'n the neighbors and watching the traffic go by like everyone else in the family:)
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A big problem in MY family too was that I called people in on their crud. I did not just sit by and pretend we were a nice, normal family. That was very intimidating, especially to Mom. And this started when I was about thirteen and knew that there was something wrong with me because I was so depressed and had so many panic attacks, especially in school. I could see these things in my relatives and brought them up, not always in a nice way. But understand...they were not very nice to ME either. Not excusing my behavior, but I was a very unstable teen with very unstable, often verbally abusive parents, but I did fight back.
    I did try smoking cigarettes for a short while until I tried to light a cigarette and lit up some of my hair instead! That was the end of that...lol. Before the fire on my head, I used to steal cigarettes from my father, who never noticed (he never paid much attention to anything I did). I didn't really inhale anyway, in the words of a US President...lol. (BUt I didn't...just thought it made me look cool...ugh!)
  15. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Reading through these posts....just makes me believe even moreso that many of the behaviors we consider difficult child are normal typical teen behaviors. Yes, some of us went overboard to the point our lives were derailed, but overall it seems that MOST teens will dabble in rebellion mixed in with smoking, a little bit of drugs and alcohol and experimentation with sex.

    To me, those are fairly typical. It's the stealing, reliance on drugs and/or alcohol, cutting school, and incessant lying (among other behaviors such as running away, complete disrespect for themselves and others, etc) that make up a difficult child.

    Part of the 'growing into an adult' DOES combine a bit of rebellion, trying things your parents or the laws of the land forbid; figuring out your belief system, which often goes against your parents, and finding your voice. I think a lot of that comes in the forms of what we may consider being a difficult child, but are really typical teen stuff.

    Just sayin'. I know I was a difficult child in many ways....I also can look at those behaviors as an adult and understand why I did a lot of what did based on many factors of my earlier life. However, when it came time to poop or get off the pot, I snapped to it...I have been working since 15 and had a lot of easy child behaviors as well.

    To me, those young adults still floundering in their 20's and 30's, etc., still rebelling (against themselves and society), drinking and drugging themselves silly? THOSE are true difficult children.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Whew! I'm exhausted reading these notes! What you've all been through ... some of you had good parents, some things were *caused* by your parents.
    Can I offer up one of my sisters as a difficult child/easy child? She was always a happy child but I believe she was ADHD and slightly dyslexic. She was always in trouble, did not pass the entrance exam to get into the same private HS my sisters and I attended, and she could party hard.
    Many of the things she did were truly funny. One day, the teacher left the room and came back to see, through the little glass window in the center of the door, my sister standing at the front of the classroom, imitating her every move, every inflection, everything. My dad tried so hard not to burst out laughing when he got that phone call.
    He gave her a long lecture about how you can't spend the rest of your life standing in front of people and cracking jokes. You've got to focus on a real career.
    She is now a public speaker and corporate trainer and makes way more money than I could ever dream of.
    It took her 3 tries to graduate from college (math, ugh), and she finally straightened up when her daughter was born. It changed her entire perspective.

    Now, it's her turn to deal with-her daughter, who is truly a difficult child--anxiety, depression, drug use--amazing she's still alive. My mom confided in me once, "I yelled at M once that I hoped she got stuck with-a daughter just as bad as she was. But I would never wish this on anyone. I had no idea."
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Care to guess? No, I was not a difficult child. Actually didn't even know any difficult child's. My surviving sister was seen as a difficult child because she was confrontational, thought she was "adopted" because there weren't many pictues of her etc. and prided herself on being different. LOL, she still is different! She never drank, nobody back then did drugs and she was so "pure" that she didn't know what to expect when she got married. I was seventeen then and bought a book called "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex" and explained it to her. She was genuinely shocked. by the way, our Mother found the book and it mysteriously disappeared from the house.

    I was a easy child who turned into a typical teen. My college career was interruped by a quick church wedding followed 8.5 months later by easy child. I still can't believe I started a family at nineteen. But I did love Ex at that young age and my prior experience was with the guy who was my first love. Truthfully I had a marvelous time in high school and college and IF there had been birth control in those days.......I'd probably have been another Hillary Clinton. DDD
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Well… Honestly, I made some stupid decisions and had some of those consequences crash down on me… But… I was pretty much a Goody Two Shoes.

    Um… In elementary school we weren't allowed over by the middle school/high school (private school), but two of my friends and I snuck over there all the time… Had my first cigarette in 6[SUP]th[/SUP] grade. Stole pomegranates off the nuns' trees.

    Didn't do my homework consistently from 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] grade on… It bored me.

    Skipped school… About 3 times. Was late once, hid in the bathroom for Homeroom, and then in 4[SUP]th[/SUP] period they came and got me with my Mom on the phone " seems they'd called her because I was absent. Except… I wasn't.

    Got caught driving in between the buses once.

    Tried pot, but it didn't do much for me. Wrote on an ex-boyfriend's car with lipstick " he and friends got me back with baby powder, Vaseline & soap on mine.

    Sexual activity WAY too early. Got pregnant in HS. That didn't last, though.

    Drove off with boyfriend (same as with car) on the hood.

    Extricated myself from weird situations… Somehow.

    Drank before I was 21, but I was terrified I'd get caught, so I never got drunk.

    Lied to my parents about where I was, got caught, told them I wasn't coming home, got dragged home… Once.

    Snuck out… Once.

    Snuck people in… 5 or 6 times.

    Had lots of unhealthy relationships… Stayed out all night too much…

    Nah, most of mine was typical teen. I think.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    When I was really young, looking back and knowing what I know now, I had some serious sensory stuff going on. Food textures and clothing, mainly. Socks. OMG - the seams on socks. Hated them. Still do. When it got warm after winter, I did NOT want to transition to shorts. Vice versa when summer ended. And bull headed....OMG was I bull headed.

    But they said I was bright and athletic (tho neither shows now!). Reading at 5, chapter books (like Black Beauty - the original one) by 7. In 3rd grade, I loved comic books and had a pink panther one with the word "hallucinate" in it, and I always got stuck on that word! Watched nightline every night. (geek!) Was in the gifted and talented program all through school. Got bored in school about 8th grade and just stopped doing much of anything. Didn't last too long, tho, and all that really came of it was a bad grade that quickly got turned around. F's were the devil's spawn - I wouldn't have any of that!

    High school, for about 3-4 months, I did the whole rebellion thing (when I got knocked up - long story). I drank, but never drove while drinking. Tried pot once. Tried coke once. (didn't like pot. liked coke. enough to know I could never do that again - I'm an energy addict, what can I say? And after spending my life unable to breathe due to sinus and allergy problems, I could BREATHE. but it was bad, and I never touched it again) Didn't sleep around, but was active. Cut school an hour early once - ran into the principal on the way out of town. Band geek. Acted in musicals. volunteered to play all the obscure parts in drama (we had few boys - I always volunteered to play the boy parts). If it was oddball, I was on it. Liked to screw around in my car (put in as many people as possible; or another fav - push it down the road, and wait til someone came along and asked if we needed help - then we'd get in and drive off; duct taped a lot of flowers and other "things" to the antennae....just weird ****) Good student, honor roll, GAT program, blah blah blah - except for that short stint of being an idiot, I think it was mostly an exceptionally bull-headed (to the point of difficult child) typical teen stuff. But the bull headed part was definitely enough to qualify for the title.