Hi, I am new to the board. I am in a very tough place and I found this board and thought that someone here would understand me and have some insight from a BTDT standpoint. I wasn't even going to post because I noticed that tons of you have it way tougher than myself and I already feel like all of this is in my head and that I am the one that needs help. But here goes anyway. This is liable to be long and rambly as I don't even know how to put it all down.
I will start by saying that I have always loved children. I always thought I wanted to work with kids when I got older. That was before I had my first daughter. I got pregnant with her within one month of being with her father and only later found out that he has major anger issues and has definite mood swings. He also acts as if the rules don't apply to him. He taught my daughter to cuss at the age of two. The past summer, he got her 15 year old cousin drunk and him and my daughter tied him up and drew on him. He cuts her loose with lighters so she can set sticks on fire and thinks everything she does is hilarious. Fortunately she only sees him 1 week per year.
Back to my daughter. I had a tough pregnancy with her due to the fighting with her father and by the time she was born, I was emotionally detached from the whole thing. As a baby, I loved her but something never felt right. It just felt off. I didn't feel the intense feelings that most people say they feel when their child was born. As time went on, I grew in love with her and did everything mothers do with their children. We played and laughed and things were ok. Shortly after two, all that changed. As her personality grew, so did my dislike for her. It intensified. When she would do something wrong, I would try every punishment in the book and she would look at me as if unphased. Almost like, you can't bother me. Never any tears or remorse for the misbehavior. She would look at you defiantly as if asking, "What else do you got?" (Even my new toddler at 22 months will say I'm sorry if she feels like she did something wrong). I was abused as a kid and will admit that I lost my temper a few times and went too far because nothing seemed to get through to her.
I very clearly remember a time as a three year old when she threatened a guy I was with. I was in the laundry mat and they were eating in the car. She was kicking his seat repeatedly. He told her to stop and finally said he was telling me. He said she then leaned as close as she could and said in a way too adult voice, "You will not tell. I will tell my mom you are lying and she will believe me and not you. I will kill you if you tell." He was scared and said that she was going to kill me in my sleep one day.
As she has gotten older, I have caught myself feeling that the emotions she feels are put on and meant to get her way in things. She is 9 now. Last year she was complaining about her feet hurting. I felt like she just wanted attention but I didn't want to ignore a potential problem so I took her in for an exam. She was sent for xrays and I overheard her talking to the xray tech. She was talking in this nauseus syrupy sweet voice to the xray tech. Before I knew it the lady had given her "Free" copies of her xrays even though they were sending the report electronically to the doctor. When I asked her about it she said that she always pretends she is 2 when she is with people so they will give her what she wants.
It always feels like everything is about her. She has been in trouble this week and was punished this morning by doing some yard work. This evening I was wanting to go out to eat and she said that we were going out to eat because of what a good job she did during her punishment. It is always about her in some way or another. She also acts as if rules do not apply to her.
Daily routine is something that is completely foreign to her. We have had the same daily routine for the last 3 years and she still has to be reminded what to do. I have to remind her to make her bed, brush her hair and teeth. I have to remind her to feed her rabbit. As far as the rabbit goes, she has tried to starve it on multiple occasions. The last time, she was going out there every morning and telling me that the rabbit was fine. When I went out there the food dish was bone dry and as I questioned her about it, I asked her if she was tired of taking care of it. She said yes and so I asked if she was just trying to get rid of the rabbit and she looked at the floor guiltily. I have also witnessed her punching our dog violently one time because he got in the way of something she was looking at. She punched him repeatedly and didn't know we were watching out of the window. If he hadn't been so big she would have hurt him.
She lies at the drop of the hat and would prefer to lie over the truth. She manipulates people into giving her her way. She is in third grade now and I am pretty sure that not many children want a bunch to do with her. She has some friends I think but can't be sure. She has cost me several friendships because people don't want her around their kids. Either she gets too rough with them or tells them stuff that their parents don't want their kids to know. When she was in kindergarten the school she went to rated her social skills and all of the marks were abysmal. The teacher hated her and said that there was something wrong with her. She is the only adult that has felt simlarly. All the other adults in her life think she is wonderful and perfect. She has everyone wrapped around her finger. Her papa is usually not a fool or dummy and he even says she is perfect. I don't know why I am the only one that sees it. Everone else (outside of my husband and I) tells her she is an angel.
She is also obsessed with boys. She tells everyone she has a boyfriend and even told her teenage babysitter (who doesn't date at all) that she would "hook her up". She got caught kissing a boy behind the school this year and in preschool was trading kisses for candy. I tell her she is too young to date and I have heard her tell her grandmother that I am unfair and that she can do what she wants to and if she wants to date she will.
She is my first child and I have always just thought I was broken because I didn't love my child and that I was just a bad mother because I had a bad background. Now that I have had a second and it feels totally different, I know it can't be just me as a parent.
Anyone have any suggestions? What could this be? Is it just me? I took her to a counselor and she manipulated the counselor and the counselor said there was nothing wrong with her. Please help. Anyone have similar experience to share.
Sorry so long and rambly. I had to get all this out, it has been simmering for 9 years and I feel so terrible because I am starting to think I hate her.