Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FTN, Feb 5, 2008.
How common is it for parents to avoid their difficult child?
When she gets on a tear? Oh, yeah! Much safer. Of course, I will plead guilty to some serious PTSD when it comes to my child and her temper. However, if she's in a mood (like when she's PMSing), I'll do everything in my power up to and including pretending I'm asleep to avoid her. The worst was when she was pre-pubescent (ages 10-12 -- then it was a bad mood non-stop for 24 months). Sadly, she was too young to avoid then.
Probably pretty common, at least for short periods of time. Self-preservation.
There's healthy respite, where the parent does some self-care to regain strength and be able to deal with the challenges in as healthy manner as possible.
But there's also, in my experience at least (unfortunately), extended periods of avoiding difficult child at all costs, *not* doing self-care but just trying to pretend the problem isn't there, that is in my humble opinion counterproductive and damaging to the entire family.
It's all about balance.
Avoid??? Welll.....hmmmmmm.......not quite sure how to do THAT considering she's up my fanny at all times (even puts her nose under the door when I go potty)! LOL! But, I guess it depends on what you mean by avoid?
Some days are worse than others... but like SLSH said, sometimes it's necessary to maintain your own mental health.
Avoidance is survival; I have to step back on a regular basis. When wm was placed (can't remember which placement) I did my best to avoid visiting at all - attended mtgs & such. But I wouldn't visit wm for at least 3 months if not longer.
I remember feeling guilty & sad that Iworked so hard at not seeing wm; my therapist called it PTSD & normal.
I have seriously been avoiding contact with difficult child 2. Now that said when husband called and set up a visit as I was so shocked that husband actually took up the reins and did it. However I did little talking as I refuse to engage in things that are unproductive. I however don't talk to him on the phone because that is when he tries to be manipulative. So I guess it just depends on how you mean it. I think a certain amount like the others have said is self preservation. Taking it to extremes is just not good.
Survival - plain and simple. Not advisable for long periods of time, but sometimes very necessary to keep a civil tongue in your mouth and a brain in your head. Especially when adult running away is not an option.
You know, you have to pick your battles and sometimes.... those sleeping dogs just need to lie. Sorry to be so "cheesy", but it's the truth at our house.
On those bad mood days - the days that are a mixture of typical teen and difficult child drama, discretion is very important.
difficult child 1 left in July. He was home for 2 weeks since.
I enjoy talking to him on the phone. I enjoy knowing he's kept on base 24 hours a day 5 or more days a week. I enjoy feeling that he and others are as safe as is possible and its not on me to see to that.
I didn't look forward to him coming home (tho the visit went ok), and I find myself hoping he doesn't come back before he's moved to the east coast in the next month or so, tho I do miss him, just in a strange sense.
I feel terribly guilty about it, but I've been assured time and time again that its ok. Healing takes time.
At age 17? When my daughter was 18 and we caught her throwing a swell drug party in our house when she thought we were going to be out of town longer, we made her leave. Before that, I tried hard not to cross paths with her. At her age, she was big and strong. Fortunately, she is not taking drugs anymore.
FTN, as others have already said, it's pretty common. Slsh made a good point that it's often for self-preservation.
For the last few weeks before my difficult child moved to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I did everything in my power to spend as little time with him as possible. I was so angry and sad, and had significant PTSD as well. Even though he has been away for a few months now and his behaviour has stabilized significantly, I don't spend a lot of time with him on the phone or in visits. I need time to heal.
Separate names with a comma.