8 year old violent only at home? Daily horror show

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Rosetries, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Rosetries

    Rosetries New Member

    It is happening right now so I will apologize in advance if I am not entirely coherent.

    To summarize. Nothing will set off our 8 year old daughter. She will immediately start freaking out, in the past she has drawn blood - repeatedly on her father, beaten the **** out of him and me, at times. For example. Today, we were calling the vet to get the results on one of our cats. She flips out, starts screaming "YOU DONT WANT ME TO CALL GABBY!" "YOU ARE NOT ALLOWING ME TO HAVE A SLEEPOVER" and always "YOU HATE ME." Every dance move we have to de escalate her does not work. She becomes an absolute feral animal and begins to destroy our house. I can't believe the neighbors haven't called CPS with how loud she is.

    Recently we have found out that her friend has to calm her down at recess. So I guess it is spreading.

    She has seen a therapist who did not find out anything useful, she has seen a psychiatrist who did not have anything to say as far as treatment.

    Our son is graduating high school, I guess that would put stress on her.

    She is my child but there is something missing in her. I have spent so long trying to figure out the riddle, to keep her from hurting herself (she will pound her head on the floor or punch herself) and us and our home and her brother and the rare animal grabbing.

    She is 8. We live in a house of mouse traps, all set to go off.

    In the physical sense, she has low iron, ferron in her blood. She is a vegetarian. She takes melatonin once in a while to sleep. She is healthy, very very dry skin. She is well liked among the girls. She has sleep apnea. She sits up at night while asleep.

    She comes home and wants to kill us, we love her, I love this child, I have taken the blows emotionally and on my body for years. I don't know what to do. Our lives crumble as our emotional well being erodes.

    It becomes, how much do we have to take, endure for her, how far do we need to go? Sleep is my only respite. But then she climbs into my bed (we share a room, working on her sleeping in her own bed at the moment, we are earthy granola types).

    Thanks for reading this, our sense of humor pulls us through but man my hands are shaking,

  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I am sorry for your situation... the stress... the daily battle... What does one say? I wish there were some magic solution for everyone!! Yet the eternal optimist in me does believe that things CAN improve with these children, and not just with medication. The usual question: have you read "The Explosive Child". Why is your daughter only violent at home... discovering the answer to that could contain some keys? My son is also much "worse" at home than anywhere else - my instinct is that it is to do with structure. The other environments he is in where he is relatively well behaved, principally school, are very structured and he always knows what to expect; I think this relieves his anxiety and therefore his acting out or up or whatever one says... I believe my son is very anxious even though he presents as happy and sociable most of the time... Is your daughter anxious? Does she need to have constant warning of change, does she find any change very difficult? My son also has low iron and ferritin I have just discovered and this is interesting... Is there any avenue to be explored there?
    That you so obviously love your daughter and have some sense of humour (sorry, humor to you :) ) are points of real light in the darkness...
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hi Rose, welcome to the board. Can you tell us more about her younger years? Has she been seen by neuropsychologist? Any medications tried or diagnosis? Other than being a vegetarian are there any other reasons for low iron? Is she taking anything to offset that?
    There is hope, hang in there.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has she ever seen a neuropsychologist? Her behaviors are very worrisome. They are likely to get worse, as you are seeing, they are spreading...unless she gets proper treatment. Whether or not you use medication, she needs professional help. The usual story with such severe behavior is that it progresses with time and by the teen years...it is already so out of control that you are seeing the juvenile justice system.

    You should not live in fear. I have a few questions that will help us help you.

    1/Has she ever been evaluated by a neuropsychologist?

    2/Are there any psychiatric or neurological problems on either side of the genetic family tree? Unfortunately, some things are inherited.

    3/Are both of you her natural parents? Any siblings who may be at risk by this behavior?

    I'm not sure what you can do at home by yourself for her, but I think a new and updated evaluation by a neuropsychologist is a good start at figuring out what is wrong and getting help for it. Talk therapists are not trained to do testing and evaluating.

    You may want to do a signature like I did below.

    Welcome to the board! :)
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Rose and welcome to the site!

    We understand.

    There are usually more questions for new posters than anything else - but I feel your first post is more a sharing of frustration than a cry for help.

    I can tell you that finding my way here when my son was 7 was like a miracle - I didn't know anyone who had a Jeckle/Hyde child like mine. To know that I was not alone, that other parents understood my frustration, sadness, and disappointment was an instant comfort to my hurting soul. Like you, I love my son with all my heart and hurt so much. For me, it was raging at school and not at home.

    It took "a village" to begin to turn things around for him. A school with a fabulous Special Education department, a wonderful therapist, a capable psychiatrist, behavior modification, a loving big sister, this community of warrior parents, understanding teachers, proper medication, and a total time, energy and heart commitment by me to put his needs number one for a while. That meant a total structured environment at home where a time schedule was strictly adhered to and his needs were placed first until we got a handle on things.

    I would offer you a couple suggestions along with a few questions....

    I would first begin to keep a journal of her behaviors. What appears to set her off, how long the incident lasts, what words are said and how you (or another family member) react to her behavior and what effect that reactions appears to have. If you can, audio or video tape a couple of her rages. This could be very useful for future doctor appointments. So often our children present a totally different front to caregivers. This helps to build a history and often we can being to see a pattern or triggers.

    I would also read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's kinda a mandatory read around here. It gives you a little insight into how differently our difficult children are wired and some suggestions for changing the outcomes.

    Is there any history of mental or emotional illness in either family tree? Genetics often play an important role. Anything in her early development that was traumatic or noteworthy?

    Do you know any other parents who struggle with challenging children? I ask because that would be a great start for getting a referral to a good doctor. I think your daughter needs a really complete evaluation. You could go to your local children's hospital - or if you have a local teaching hospital (university medical ctr), contact their psychiatric dept. There is definitely something within your daughter that she is unable to handle. When my son was going through the worst of his issues, I always tried to keep uppermost in mind that as awful as it was for me, I couldn't imagine what it was like to live as him. I witnessed it, but he lived it. There were things he just was not equipped to handle and, as his parent, I had an obligation to get to the bottom of it!

    It is clear the love you have for your daughter. It is good that you have found us. Glad to have you onboard!

  6. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    I am there with you but my son rages solely at his father.

    Reading "The Explosive Child" will help. It's a great book and a good one to start with.

    My son used to rage on a daily basis too. It became violent too. Destruction of the house and anything else that he could get his hands on. You are not alone.

    I took him in February and he was diagnosed with ODD/early onset bipolar. He was started on Tenex. I won't tell you that it was an overnight cure but I can say that his rages became less severe and more infrequent as the weeks progressed.

    Although it is hard to remember when a rage is going on, she doesn't know what she is doing. When kids get to that point, they are acting solely on impulse and has no control over it.

    It is important to get her in to see someone as soon as you can. It can take a long time and you may feel like you won't make it to the appointment but you can do it. Meanwhile, we are here to give what advice we can and to listen to you vent. You are among friends here.

    Prayers to you and your family.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Rose, welcome. So sorry you had to find us. I know what you mean about your hands shaking.

    My son had low iron for awhile. I had him tested for celiac's and I would suggest that for you. Your daughter is not digesting her food properly and isn't able to absorb nutrients properly.
    But I, not being a dr, would only suggest that is part of the problem, and your daughter could have a neurological or chemical issue. I agree with-the others here, to have her seen by a neuropsychologist (psychologist, not psychiatrist, with-a degree in neurology, as well) and do at least a full day of testing, including psychoeducational testing and as many things as they can throw in there. (You can search key words on this board to get ideas.)
    Some of it may not be covered by ins, but it is well worth the $ spent.

    I agree with-the others here, too, to keep a journal of her activities, foods and behaviors. Anything from fluorescent lights, to sunlight, to pizza, barking dogs, the feel of the shower--write it all down and what her reaction is, and how long it takes her to react.
    It will give you a feeling of control, just to be able to take notes, and it will help you calm down.

    Stay with us!
  8. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    I'm going to play devils advocate here. I apologize ahead of time, but sometimes it must be asked. Is there any chance your daughter has been sexually abused? Does your son have friends that come over or sleep over. I am sorry here, again I apologize. When I was a little girl I was abused by my older brothers friend. I acted out terribly at home, no one knew, not even my brother, I wanted everyone to see, I couldn't believe they didn't. Needless to say it went unnoticed until my brother found out. He freaked out and told the kid to never come around. Keep in mind that I am now 43 so this was a really long time ago. When people didn't talk about these things. It was never mentioned or brought up again.
  9. Rosetries

    Rosetries New Member

    Oh thank you everyone for writing back. Thank you, I didn't get any emails so I assumed that whatever happened to the post, happened.

    The Explosive Child - we have it. Are there any other books recommended?

    neuropsychologist, ok, good, wonderful, it feels like there is some direction here. Again, Thank you. She will have a good few hours and then back to it.

    I wonder if we write down the schedule she will be happier. In no way can we just go anywhere, like we could with our son. She does not want to go anywhere.

    No chance of sexual abuse, as a survivor, I am keenly aware of it all and thankfully she is good in that regard.

    I have begun to have anxiety attacks. They are so awful, it is like a fear is holding you underwater and you can't breathe and everything horrible is happening to everyone you love.

    I wonder if Lydia feels like that when she is flipping out. Breaking mirrors, destroying things she loves.

    I wonder if being ill and allowing my husband to take care of business while I recuperated.

    I guess we can second guess ourselves but what I have found here is dedicated loving parents.

    I don't get it, she is really cruel for no apparent reason. Our son is so different so so so different. He thinks we don't punish her enough, with him we put him in time out in his room a few times and all was well. Lydia hates timeouts, we have to hold the door and it makes us feel cruel.

    I remember how much it must of hurt her little body to contort her way out of her seat when she was just 3.

    We had a fire when she was 3. I think that changed her. She didn't like anything thrown away. She would get into the garbage to pick things out. Mainly I think because the cleaners had our stuff that was smoke damaged on the front lawn. I got her out and to the neighbors while I tried to get our cats out (they all made it, we ended up with severe damage to the laundry room and severe smoke damage, she loved staying in a hotel, she still LOVES hotels).

    I just heard on Diane Roehm that 'Fragile X' syndrome can be tested?

    I dunno, I like to go into anything with as much information as possible.

    She is in after care, she loves it! She likes being there. We need to be more structured.

    Structure is good for Lu. She can be happier then, less anxiety.

    If she is having anxiety attacks, that makes me ache, they are so awful. I can try to talk myself down but she has so few coping skills outside of us.

    Thank you a million times,

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Glad to see you, Rose.

    So sorry about your anxiety attacks. I suspect I'm headed in that direction myself ...

    I'm glad your difficult child loves aftercare. Whew!

    Definitely keep working on an appointment with-a good neuropsychologist. Get as much testing done as possible.
  11. Welcome Rose! Reading your post, felt like reading my own story with my difficult child. Any change in plans is a recipe for rage/meltdown, and mine is 13! My difficult child also does best in a super structured environment, which doesn't lend for a fun home life. Time outs are a joke, she refuses to move and I can no longer physically move her anywhere (5'10"!!). Our therapist says instead of time out, do time in. When we want her away from us, pull her in closer. I find that nearly impossible to do when she is screaming "Mom, you are such a b**ch!". And now CPS says we cannot even put soap in the mouth anymore, as if I could reach her mouth anyway! lol

    Sense of humor is one of the most important tools in my toolbox! Unfortunatly, my difficult child doesn't get sarcasm in a joking way and then rages over the joke.

    Lately she is mainly arguing with herself. We are trying hard not to engage and even so she continues to argue. husband walks away laughing because it really is funny if you can disconnect. I have a harder time with that.

    Anyways, another one for finding a good neuropsychologist, ours helped save our family by helping us see our difficult child beyond her issues and try to concentrate on her abilities.

    Hugs of welcome, Vickie
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Adding in my welcome. I so remember those daily rages. The physical abuse we as parents endure can be very difficult. I think it is understandable that you are having panic attacks. Others have given great advice. On another note, I would add to be sure to take time to take care of you (which I understand is easier said than done).

    It's so important to be able take a break. For me it means exercising, reading, vegging in front of the t.v. Also for the past few years I've been seeing a therapist (therapist). So glad you found us (sorry you needed to). Hugs.
  13. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Adding my welcome and definitely get her in for thorough testing!!!
  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    welcome rose........ you sound like such a caring and dedicated mom. try not to beat yourself up and look into meditation breathing and yoga for relaxation to stop the panic attacks right now for you. remember to take your time and your breaks, it's crucial so you can cope thru all of this. truly. if you aren't ok she will def be worse than ok

    neuropysch evaluation sounds good to me also, put her in therapy also... what were her younger years like?? sounds like she was always a busy girl :)

    hang in there, the neuropsychologist is a good starting point, meanwhile get a board in the kitchen dry erase write down the weekly schedule it does lower anxiety. we do it now in our home. we always had some sort of schedule yet now it's more structured. than write one for her and keep it in a book for her like a binder.

    in the binder you can make sections for her:

    sit with her and do it when she's calm and in a good place.

    ask her what maker her happy that she can do in the house........ write those in the section under coping skills.

    than write down her schedule put that in another section for her and post on wall also.

    ask her to draw a few pics do it with her pics of what makes her happy or favorite memories put those in a happy places section......

    get the idea. make that her special book. let her decorate the front of it. get anything out of her room that's breakable etc. to avoid breakage. get her sleeping in her room also. you need your time!!! now especially. you cannot cope all day long and than have her ontop of you all night long. it's just not good for you. maybe go to store see if she picks out a quilt she likes, get lavendar spray have her put it on her pillow at night. also give her as much attention as you can, i've learned this one took years lol when she's being good, complying i mean really make a big deal out of it. than when she's off the charts unless she's going to injure you or someone ignore it as much as possible.

    maybe those things will help a tiny bit till you get some real testing done to see whats going on exactly. do you have insurance for her?? good luck welcome again!!!
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Rose - We're new here too, but... this sounds a wee bit familiar. We were having huge problems at home, and school didn't see a thing there... turns out, there was more going on at school than they saw, AND, school was the trigger for everything at home. its an on-going battle - still happening in high school.

    Some kids put in an incredible effort to hold it all together at school - far more effort than anyone there sees or understands, and far more effort than the resources they have available. The result is, "reasonable performance" at school and... meltdowns, or destruction, or all sorts of behavior issues at home. The reason: fatigued, overloaded, and overwhelmed. Because "home" can't fix "school", it all gets taken out on "home".

    Until you know what all she's dealing with, its hard to find the triggers. Anxiety, stress, fatigue, overload... the gap between what they can do and what their peers can do, playground impacts, one bad teacher, bullying, its hard to remember all the stuff across 9 years! But ALL of the triggers were (and are) at school. You won't get much support from the teachers, though. We got nothing anywhere (medical, school, family) until we had solid medical diagnoses - and then, you still only get partial support because the school assumes the problem must be at home.

    Good Luck!!
  16. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Hi Rose and welcome -

    All the other suggestions are awesome. She definitely needs a neuropsyche exam.

    In addition I would add as well that she get an appointment with a psychiatrist to see what types of medicines might help her get things under control.

    Is being a vegetarian her choice? Because her low iron could be from not eating meat. My sister was a vegetarian for 2 years, and then began eating meat and couldn't believe how much better she felt eating meat. It offers so much protein and vitamins.

    Have you taken her to a Dr to get a full workup? I would have her thyroid tested especially with the dry skin.

    When my son was your daughter age, he also was very violent. It got to the place where we had to call the police a couple of times - which is a definite wake up call to the kid - knowing she is breaking the law by threatening to kill you guys, or by destroying your property she needs to know loud and clear is not OK.

    Through social services you can also set up an "emergency team" that is called if she is that out of control. They will come out and aide and assist you in getting her calmed down.

    The third thing you can do, if she is that out of control, is take her to a hospital. This is actually the best way for both psychiatric doctors and physicians to test her entire body and mind, and it gives her a few days to be evaluated. Then a plan can be devised with you guys for her future treatment. Matt was first hospitalized when he was 6, and as hard as that was, we gained a lot from it. We made a big point that this was for his safety and ours - which is what your daughter needs to know. Is she is not safe, or you are not safe then you WILL do something about it. It truly is the most caring thing you can do for her.

  17. sherrim13

    sherrim13 New Member

    I'm new here, my daughter is exactly as you described yours...are things better?
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, sherrim. This is an old thread. You may want to start your own. You will get a bigger response :) Welcome to the forum.