Adopted runaway teenager with personalty disorder

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by no1understands, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. no1understands

    no1understands New Member

    We completed a blind (means we didn't know the child) adoption of a 14-year-old (yikes) from a foreign country about 4 1/2 years ago. After she learned English, we began counseling but continued to be remarkably disrespectful to us. After her behavior became untolerable, she was in an out-of-hospital program and placed in an adoption respite program. But she continued on a road of self-distruction - (for instance) mixing pot with depression medications while on vacation and nearly dying - then tried to keep us out of the hospital (at age 16) from visiting her.
    She ran away four times - the last about a year ago (at the age of 17 1/2).
    She lived with a family and their son - whom she was dating. Of course she got pregnant (which is what she had been trying to do with anyone) and lost the baby. She was going to high school and doing well, but stopped near the end - so has no diploma.
    Her boyfriend kicked her out after learning that she was having sex with other guys (which we had warned his family about). Now, at 18, she is living with with some other guy, whom we don't know.
    She lies about everything, is manipulative, won't get a job or hold it, can't keep friends (unless they are male), is remarkably promiscuous, calls for help now - though she won't carry through and refuses to tell us where she is living, is cutting herself and is supposedly depressed.
    She has NEVER asked about anyone in the family. She argues with us about anything and everything. She is the victim - nothing is her fault. She has alienated everyone and thrives on drama. A friend, who is a counselor and has known her since she arrived in the U.S. says she has a mix of borderline personalty disorder and histrionic PD.
    We have managed to keep our marriage together - but it has been a challenge. Better though, I'm sorry to say, since she is out of the house.
    For the 10 months she was living with her first boyfriend, she never called - except when needing something. The people wouldn't believe us that she still needed to see a counselor regularly and get help. Instead, they did nothing.
    We have been told by a counselor and a psychiatrist who saw her that we must not help her because that is enabling her. No money, etc - and we are okay with that, though it is very hard - we get it. We have, however, given her a list of places to look for help. When we told her to look at the list on Facebook and call - she said she had no access to it and complained that she would have to stay at the library "all day" to read the messages. Her last message to us, by the way, was "I hope you burn in hell for turning away an adopted child."
    We thought we were doing the right thing - bringing her to the U.S. for a better life, but she will not help herself.
    We are at our wit's end.
  2. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Hi and welcome.

    We adopted our little girl from Russia but at a young age (14 mos) so I can't really provide any insight. I just wanted to say so sorry for what you are going through. I can appreciate hoping for so much for your child and being afraid it won't happen. Others on the board will have more experience with older children.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi. Sorry you need to join our little family here .....sounds like a lot of heartbreak. My son is adopted and told me today he wished he never got adopted by me, there are lots of other moms out there ....I said too bad we don't get to pick our moms. You are stuck with me forever. He loved me again an hour later but often he is very difficult and fights being secure in his attachment. Has your daughter /difficult child had any formal evaluations? Im surprised your friend didn't mention reactive attachment disorder. Just from what you said of course ....and we aren't docs....she sure has many of the symptoms and behaviors. Check out attach that site explains a lot about the various types of attachment disorders and how it comes about. A search for attachment disorders on this site and on the web will give you some ideas too so you can see whether this applies to your situation. Im on my phone so its hard to type but I'll check in again.

    Welcome again. You are in good company here! People here do understand.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board :)

    You might want to join us over in the Parent Emeritus forum (kids over 18).

    You were a very brave soul to do a blind adoption at 14, wow! I'd say her dxes are pretty accurate except you may be dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) as well. Counselor's advice is sound. It IS hard, but it also is the only way to motivate them (hopefully) into helping themselves.

  5. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I'm so sorry for all the trauma that you have been through with your daughter. All of your daughter's lies, manipulations and other problems really sound like a nightmare for you to deal with. I hope that you and your husband are able to talk to a counselor, because this must be very stressful for both of you. It might feel like you are all alone and that no one really understands what you are going through, but there are many other parents on this board who are here to offer you support, and encouragement. I'm so glad that you have found this board, because you are among friends here. Stay strong and continue posting on these boards. HUGS...
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, what I learned is that WE think we are giving them a better life. We adopted several times, once a six year old from Hong Kong and once an eleven year old out of foster care. We found that our infant adopted kids bonded to us very well, but our older kids did not think we were doing them any favors. From their point of view, they had been on their own most of their lives, nobody ever cared about them before, and the only person on earth he could count on was himself. This is actually common, especially in older adopted children and is called Reactive Attachment Disorder. They are already too damaged to bond to a family or even want to be loved so they act out and feel crazy and drive US crazy.

    I am sure there are exceptions, but I am in a very active adoptive parent group. I don't k now of any children adopted older who are really doing very well. There must be some, but I don't know of any.

    Because of your child's age, I really recommend letting her know that you are there for her, but detaching from her behavior. You didn't cause it. She was already a damaged child before you got her. Love does not fix people who don't even know what it is. by the way, is she from Eastern Europe? I swear I hear more horror stories from that part of the world than anywhere else. One wonders what those kids go through before they are adopted by us! Have you ever taken her to a therapist that understands attachment issues? That would probably be the most appropriate. She is acting like a typical unattached, angry child...

    My adopted child from Hong Kong never attached to us and we haven't seen him for six years now, and he is such an angry person that we don't want to see him anymore. And he doesn't want to see us. We are not his family, in his mind. The child we adopted at age eleven was dangerous to others and he was removed for the safety of our other kids, pets, and community.

    You may want to post on Parent Emeritus, which is a forum for parents of adult children or you may want to find an adoption site to post on. You will find a lot of company.

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I thought, at one time, that all kids needed was a chance and love, and it still boggles my mind that some kids don't even want to be loved...that they don't understand love and that it scares them.

    Be sure to take care of YOURSELF. You meant well and you did do a good thing. This child is now in a country where she can achieve. But the next step is up to her. (((Big huggles!!!!!!)))
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I am aware of ONE case... out of dozens among extended family and friends.
    The child was a 7yo with quite a history, but... the first two years DID include fairly-normal attachment. (per the case-worker, and validated by what happened for the next 30+ years)
    Not that this now-adult adoptee ever became strongly attached, but what should/could have been classical Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), was some variation on insecure attachment, and it was possible to reach this child, and teach love etc.

    Those first 2-3 years are critical. If they learn to be loved at that age, there seems to be some hope.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC...this child was fourteen. Who knows what he life was like before she came to the US? Not only did she spend most of her formative years in limbo, but she had to leave her culture.

    I'm sure there are cases of older kid adoptions that worked out. I just don't know any and I really think they are the vast minority. Those first three years are VERY important. They teach a human being to trust or not to trust.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I totally agree - that one case I know that "worked"? also wasn't a foreign adoption.
    By the time you consider this (the OP's) adoptee's age, language barrier, and that it is a foreign adoption... the situation wasn't exactly stacked for success.
  10. no1understands

    no1understands New Member

    Thanks everyone. There is more to the story, but I will move to Parent Emeritus - as suggested. Thing is - she has to help herself. She is not living with us, won't tell us where, and only calls when she needs attention (I guess).