Alone & Lost in the chaos

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LostinChaos, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. LostinChaos

    LostinChaos Guest

    I honestly don't think I have ever felt so lost and adrift. My older children all had their own issues but NOTHING like this. My 7yr old daughter was a easy child until she started kindergarten....then it was as if the entire world exploded. She began fighting bedtime, fighting school, fighting me leaving to work.... It got so bad she tried to climb out of a moving vehicle. I called everywhere, begging for help because I had no idea what was happening or what to do. My husband and I were at odds with the stress. I ended up leaving my job and changing to online college courses vs face to face so I could be there. She was diagnosed with Separation Anxiety Disorder, that was 2 yrs ago. She has been on risperidol, zoloft and now clonidine. Over the past two yrs I've had to leave school completely. My husband and I are constantly stressed with finances and the battleground our home has become. We're currently trying to work her into a public school. In the past few weeks it seems that it has gotten even worse....the meltdowns are almost daily sometimes. My husband works 2nd shift and I am with her 24hrs a day 7 days a week. When he gets home she's asleep and the battle is already over. When she gets up he's asleep. It feels like it is ALWAYS mommy time. I KNOW I don't always handle it right. I am so frustrated and frazzled right now I find myself yelling back at her which only makes things worse. I start out calm and try to remain that way but I just don't know what to do anymore. I hear myself and think "WHAT are you doing? This isn't helping" I can't take the constant stress. I don't know where to turn and who to talk to. I feel like I'm failing her and I don't know how to make it right.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First of all, welcome to the site. You have found a place where you are not alone - we understand the stress our difficult children can put on marriages, family relationships, and friendships. When my difficult child was at his darkest, I didn't sleep and didn't stop eating.

    Have you read "The Explosive Child", by Ross Greene? It's a "must read" for new members. It can really give you some insight into "hows and whys" of this type of explosive behavior and can also help with some coping solutions.

    I'm not a doctor but it would stand to reason that if your daughter was suffering from SAD and you went to all the measures you did to help her, and it's only getting worse, then something else is going on. You guys removed her from school and you "stopped your life". Didn't help.

    I have an idea. Have you ever videotaped your daughter's meltdowns? I think I would set up the camera and have it all ready but the "go" button. Record your daughter every time she meltdowns. Do it for perhaps a week. Schedule an appointment with her psychiatrist now before your start. Take the recording to the doctor.

    Sometimes it is hard for others to get a true understanding of what we are living with.

    Glad you found us. Good luck.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Adding in my welcome. I hope it helps some to know you are definitely not alone. Sharon gave some excellent ideas about the book and video taping. I can imagine the stress level.I know I could not be home with my difficult child every day. It must be very difficult to find any time for "me" time or for you and your husband to have any quality time together. As hard as it is, you need to try to find some time for yourself. For me exercising (along with this place) helps keep me sane. I also love to curl up with a good book to relax.

    So glad you found us (wish you didn't need us though), you really have found a place where people understand.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. Share more about difficult child so we can know more.
    Anything unusual about difficult child in the early years?
    Did she sleep well, eat well, play well?
    How does she do in school?
    Does she have any friends?
    What does she do in her free time?
    Any behaviors(other than separation issues) that stand out as different?
    How are her grades?
    We may not be able to do more than offer suggestions, point in other directions and share what has worked and not worked for us based on our experiences
    but at the very least you will know you aren't alone anymore.
    Marriages are complicated and delicate dynamics. You and husband must take time to reconnect. Schedule a couple of hours every week to just go for a cup of coffee and talk. Talk about kids, life, fun stuff. Just have that face to face conversations. Try to rekindle the reasons you both fell for each other. It got me through some low times. Each of you must parent in order for one to not burn out. I'm sure your husband wants to "fix" it but parenting doesn't work that way. Talk to him about taking over with difficult child one day that he is off. You really do need a break so that you aren't completely drained.
    Hugs, hang in there.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to the board. I know how you feel when you say that it's always mommy time. My husband works a job that is very demanding at certain times of the year and he is not home to deal with anything. By the time he gets home all of the trauma of the day is over and I sitting on the couch in tears or having half a bottle of wine. I do understand.

    First of all, I would agree with the recommendation of "The Explosive Child" book. I bought it recently and the techniques in there really do work. It takes some time to get them down (something that I am still working on) but it can help.

    Second, I would say that if possible see if you can see a therapist for YOURSELF! In my opinion I find that it helps to have an outside party who will listen to you without judgment, who you can say things to that you could never say to anyone else, and who will help you with your own coping mechanisms. If you are shouldering the parenting all by yourself you need someone to talk to so that your home does not become a battleground.

    Third, if you have been trying medications for the last several years and she is getting no better than either the medications the doctor prescribed her are not working and it's time to try something else, or they are treating the wrong illness. See if you can have her re-evaluated by another doctor and get a second opinion. The first time we took our difficult child to a psychiatrist he was way off the mark (as I found out later). A second opinion never hurts.

  6. rainyseason

    rainyseason Guest

    We feel your pain (or at least our own versions of your pain). Here's whats helping me so far: not only is my son seeing the psychiatric, but so am I. I get up an hour before my kids for coffee and whatever happens to be on TNT. That's my NO KIDS ALOUD time. I look for reasons to leave the house. Whether its the grocery store or whatever & I gave my husband an ulimatum. Either he helps with the kids....or I go INSANE and take him me! I realized that my husband didn't actually realize what I was going through. He felt his paying job was more important and that it couldnt possibly be hard on me the stay at home mom! So I made VIDEO! Lots of them. I made him watch our morning rituals. And now, he calls me every single morning when its time for Mikey to get up and he kind of /'walks' me through it as my support system. Then when he comes home, he watches the days video and then he confronts difficult child, who has FINALLY learned that dad is aon MY side NOT his!
  7. LostinChaos

    LostinChaos Guest

    Thank you all so much for the warm welcomes and advice. I'm feeling more calm today. So far it's been a good day. Some days it seems like some days it seems like I'm lost in a pitch dark tunnel buried under ground and others it feels like while I might not see a light at the end of the tunnel there's at least a firefly around to relieve the darkness a bit. Coming here it feels like I might have just found a torch and a hand in the dark. Thank you! I'll try to get "The Explosive Child" book as soon as I can. First a bit more background and an answer to some of the questions.

    difficult child ~ "K" was a "normal" although high risk pregnancy as I was on heparin therapy the entire time. (and yes, two shots a day for 9 months sucked) She was born without complications and seemed ahead in development, ie. talked early, crawled early, slept through the night at 3 months and was a relatively happy baby.

    All three of her siblings are older so she's had a lack of same age interaction although she's had friends within a year or so of her age. I stayed home with her for the first 2 years of her life although it wasn't a 24 hr a day thing, I had a biweekly night out, my husband and I traded off. K was however never in daycare or with a caregiver other than either myself, my husband or our older easy child daughter. We took her often for social outings like the Children's museum, park, etc.

    She was VERY excited to start kindergarten and only a bit nervous. (She had never shown a true aversion to strangers or any separation issues previously) I had been going to school myself for 2 1/2 yrs and she would often study with me, she was very interested in my anatomy books. The first few days were fine but as we went into the second week she started not wanting to go to bed. Then not wanting to us to leave her at school, then not wanting to get ready or go to school. It got so bad we would have to physically put her in the car and hold the buckle on the seat belt so she couldn't undo it and try to get out. Thank God for child safety locks on the back doors. At first we thought it was behavior but as the reactions escalated we were at a loss.

    We recently moved (March) to a very small town in Kansas hoping the tight community would help and so far the mental health group she sees has been more helpful than anything thus far...that being said the past month or so has been pure hell. To start as I said I had to leave not only my job but school as well. My husband has a f/t job but isn't paid well. One income for a family of three is just not working and over the past couple of years our financial situation has only gotten worse and it's finally reached crisis stages. Our car was recently repossessed leaving us without transportation as my husbands van croaked a bit over a year ago taking us to the one car that is now gone. My husband has to ride to work with coworkers or ride a bicycle which would be ok except winter is coming. As we live in a tiny town there are no buses or public transportation so we are no longer able to take her for outings. With the serious lack of finances I am often forced to explain that we are unable to do a lot of the things she'd like to do. Even a trip to the grocery store (and we receive NO assistance) is difficult to arrange at times. I didn't explain the finances for pity but to demonstrate some of the level of stress here. As I mentioned we moved here rather recently but contacted mental health here first thing. Before school began this fall I spoke to her psychiatric Dr who thought starting school in Aug was too soon and we needed to wait until the new semester coming in Jan. In my own stupidity I did not realize you had to be registered as a private school to home school in Kansas. We have been working with mental health trying to get her ready to go to public school again as that has been my goal from day one.
    K sees mental health in the form of a psychiatric dr once a month, a therapist every two weeks, parent support weekly and a case manager and attendant care 3 days a week each on alternating days. A couple of weeks ago SRS (Kansas version of CPS) shows up at my door with a complaint that K had not been to school and a false report that she had never been diagnosed and I was just saying that to avoid sending her to school. (Note she has been diagnosed by two separate psychiatric Dr's in two states) When I explained she was seeing mental health and did in fact have a diagnosis and that we were only home schooling until we could work her into public school I was made aware of the need to register. SRS has since been back to our home to check again. Assured by mental health that we were doing everything correct I was shocked to wake up two Sat's ago to the sheriff pounding on our door to serve us papers for court. SRS was taking us to court to discuss removing K from the home although in the papers it was documented she appeared clean and healthy with no bruises or injuries, the house appeared clean and in good order and they had spoken to the principal who confirmed we had a start date and comprehensive plan in place to integrate her back into public school as well as the fact that I had registered as a private school to be in compliance with the laws. As we were in compliance when we went to court we were given informal supervision until 11-30 at which time they will review and as long as she's been in school and mental health care they will dismiss it. However, I now worry constantly that I'm going to do or say the wrong thing and they'll take her. I don't even feel safe calling for assistance in a crisis meltdown because I'm afraid they'll say if I can't handle her alone that she needs removed.

    My husband and I barely talk about things any more and are often like two strangers simply co existing in the same house. While she has been going daily for an hour to the school to get more familiar with the teacher and the building nights have become torture. She either doesn't want to go to bed or wants me to be there the entire time or like last night goes to bed happy and fine and then keeps getting up again and again until finally she's refusing to get back to bed and having fits. Honestly I don't know what to do anymore. I don't want to give in because she has to learn she needs to follow the rules and she HAS to go to school or they'll take her but almost every move is a fight sometimes. It's gotten to the point where I can't even step away to take a breather because she clings to my clothes so tight she's actually ripped them pulling on me. I have headaches on a daily basis and sleep less than 3-4 hrs a night although my appetite seems in over drive and my butt is growing exponentially I'm really not sure how to continue or if I'm going to end up having a stroke from all the stress and tension with my high BiPolar (BP). Anyway, I apologize for writing a book I just wanted to explain as much of the situation as possible. And THANK YOU, ALL for all the kind words.

  8. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    I am so sorry things are so difficult right now. How long has she been taking the clonidine? Has her psychiatrist suggested something else for the anxiety - an antidepressant? Do you know if anything happened at school in that second week of Kindergarten that may have caused her to not want to go to school?
  9. LostinChaos

    LostinChaos Guest

    Thank you! She's been on the Clonidine about 2 months and it does seem to help her sleep once I can actually get her in the bed. Her psychiatrist has suggested Prozac but at the time I thought we were seeing improvement and didn't want to throw another medication at her if we didn't need it. Now I'm not so sure but I'm also afraid of the adverse effects of it being even worse. As far as I know nothing happened in school to cause her any trauma and home was pretty quiet as well so I can't really find a trigger. My husband has been concerned that it had something to do with her vaccinations for kindergarten but I never had a problem with previous vaccinations.

  10. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I don't have any advice to offer (wish I did), but want to reassure you that you are doing a good job. I had severe separation anxiety as a child. Mine started in 2nd grade and lasted about two and a half years. Looking back, I think it was sparked by a minor car accident my mother and I were in the summer before 2nd grade started, but I'm not sure. I would scream and cry and throw fits about going to school. At school, I cried a lot and often felt ill from being so scared. I missed a lot of school and went home early many days. My older brother often had to help calm me down at school. I also refused to sleep alone and did everything I could to not sleep at all. I know it was very hard on my parents' marriage.

    When I talk to my difficult child (whose issues are very different) about his struggles, I tell him how I wish I someone had helped me when I felt so bad. I think my parents were completely befuddled by my behavior and our local doctor was no help to them. It sounds like you are doing a lot and have professionals who are helping you. I wish you well.

    Good luck.
  11. LostinChaos

    LostinChaos Guest

    TicToc....THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! I can't tell you how much that meant to me....I guess I haven't really thought about K becoming an this point I'm lucky to get through each day. For some reason hearing from an adult that dealt with this from her point and overcame it just lifted my whole heart. So far we're having a good night tonight, she went to bed with minimal struggle and is sleeping now. I'm off to try and sleep myself now if I can. Thank you again.

  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hi, advice, but wanted to add my welcome.
  13. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Our psychiatrist is also considering prozac for our 8 yo difficult child. It scares me too, but I guess if it helps, that's a good thing. I would want to try the absolute smallest dose, and would want to know that it is not something we would use forever, but something to help deal with the 'now' and then allow difficult child to learn the things he needs to help him. You might be able to use the prozac and drop the clonidine --and then use melatonin at night as needed.