All out of ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mdelvalle, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. mdelvalle

    mdelvalle New Member

    I have a 14 year old daughter who lacks empathy. We have believed this since she is very young. If I was sick, she was terrible to me and would become very angry because her needs were not being quickly enough to satisfy her. This is still true today. She has difficulty with other children in the sense that she claims to not really like her friends. I am a single mom and caught in this cycle where nothing is ever enough. She has discovered drinking and pot this summer which worried me greatly. She barely eats. I have brought her to the children's hospital after she had a huge fit of anger and the nurse said she had never seen such a controlling child and kept her overnight. We then went to the adolescent clinic for eating disorders. She started eating again slowly. I live in Quebec Canada and at age 14, you cannot oblige children to go to therapy. She has no interest in going. She claims to be always sad and that is why she is 'mean' and rude to me. Her father was diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder in prison. I really don't know what to do anymore. She refuses to talk about what she does wrong, refuses to apologize or admit like she does anything wrong and acts like I am the problem. I love her so much but I need to raise her to be a well-balanced adult and I am at wit's end. I have also had trouble getting her to school since she is young. When she was a little, she used to make herself throw up not to go and now she just ignores me, makes me late and have to take a cab to work which isn't really something I can afford as often as it happens. She doesn't have much of a filter either or respect for authority. I honestly believe that she doesn't understand why what she said was hurtful and it feels like if I don't tell her why she should be sorry, she won't understand. I have modelled the opposite of this behaviour her entire life. Sometimes I wonder if it's just because she dislikes me and it hurts me terribly. She picks at me all the time (my clothes, my decisions) and is just really condescending. When I finally get mad after calmly setting limits multiple times, she seems to enjoy it. Has anyone gone through something similar and does anyone have any advice?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome mdelvalle!
    I'm sorry things sound so rough right now but glad you found us when you needed to.

    Has your daughter been diagnosed with anything?

    I know you can't required therapy but is there some kind of hook that would get her to go? With my son there were only a few things that were not negotiable. Taking his medications and seeing therapists and doctors. We basically ended up stopping his world until he would decide to take those medications (he never really fought us on the doctors but the results would have been the same)> This meant if he wanted something the answer was no, if he wanted us to take him somewhere, the answer was no, if he wanted special treats, the answer was no (you get the idea). For our son this was helpful but maybe for your daughter you would need to agree to something she really wants.
  3. mdelvalle

    mdelvalle New Member

    She has a form of selective eating disorder which is on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) spectrum. Right now, I am trying just what you mentioned. I am withholding dance classes (which she loves), her new iPhone has been taken away and I have lessened the amount for the back to school shopping initial trip until she agrees to go see the therapist or goes to see the paediatrician at the teen hospital clinic and discusses what's going on. I feel guilty as all hell because I know she is so unhappy and I am worried about taking away the dance, not so much the phone.... I imagine it's best if I take it all away for now but it's breaking my heart. I have to keep reminding myself that the goal is for her to be healthy and happy so I have to be tough. The specialist I saw also sees empathy as being a problem.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did her father lack empathy? There could be some heredity there. Don't blame yourself or your parenting. Nature is part of all of us too. Did she have chaotic early years maybe?
  5. mdelvalle

    mdelvalle New Member

    Yes, her father did. It's just that I really worry because every once in a while she tells me that she doesn't feel things like other people. Then I say maybe you have trouble recognizing how you feel ... She did a little bit. I got separated and I worked a lot so she got babysat quite a bit.
  6. OldMom61

    OldMom61 New Member

    My son almost 17 now also refuses therapy and it's very frustrating. There are many things I can still force but this does not seem to be one of them. At times MC also seems to act empathy but occasionally I will see some sign that gives me hope. Mostly I think our kids are self centered and pray that in time life experiences will mature them. I am glad you found this place. Truly it is a life saver discovering that you are not alone in this. Hugs.