Back wit's end

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by P-nut2004, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Hi all!
    I haven't been on for some time so I doubt anyone remembers me. I'm at my wit's end atm & hoping talking to others in my shoes can help some. I'm absolutely overwhelmed right now, I'm in my senior year of college, finishing a double degree program, I will have a BS in Criminal Justice and a BA in psychiatric in July, if I make it til then. That combined with 5 kids, 4 dogs, reptiles, and money troubles would be too much in itself and dealing with three difficult children on top of it all is pure insanity. Our oldest, SJ, has developed dissociative disorder that her p-Dr is concerned may be heading for borderline pd, she has had to be completely banned from any access to the internet now as she is otherwise consumed by rpgs and blogs, she causes the other two difficult children to act out and melt down constantly bc she just can't keep herself from constantly policing and harassing them. She is such a smart kid and so mature for her age but I pray daily that she will develop some sort of permanent laryngitis bc every time she opens her mouth my anxiety goes up. The youngest daughter, LM, is completely out of control, she lies constantly for no reason, steals pointlessly, she does no work at school, cries all day, hides under her desk, destroys classroom supplies, comes home ill every day and refuses to do HW, and has a meltdown regardless of what you do, nothing is good enough, it's like having an incredibly smart 2yr old. Our oldest DS, MC, was doing better this year but now has gone down hill, he had had almost no issue at school this year until about 6 weeks ago, now I'm getting phone calls again that he's refusing to do work, crawling in the floor, throwing things, destroying things, being ugly to home he is not as bad unless something sets him off, then we go into a meltdown of epic proportions; screaming and yelling 'I hate you, you're stupid, you don't love me, you're just mean' I'm sure some of you know this script, then when he gets sent to his room or looses privileges for the meltdown he gets violent, lashing out at whoever (siblings, parents, pets) has to be restrained (and for weighing only 50lbs he is strong when he's flipping out) he will progress from yelling to unintelligible grunting and squealing and then once we're both exhausted he will give up, take a nap and wake up a different kid, apologizing to everyone. The three difficult children feed off of each other, husband is a Marine and although he understands their issues he loses the ability to see the sx as part of the disorders when they are out of control and he goes overboard, then I have to convince him to walk away and I end up handling all the meltdowns and tantrums. And of course the two PCs are suffering through this. RB, our 4yr old, is incredibly resilient, just stays out of the way and minds his own business. JB however ends up in the middle of things and I think she is developing some major anxiety from all of the chaos. Being in my last few senior classes I have major coursework and there is not enough time in the day to do my HW, housework and run errands while the kids are gone to school so I juggle everything with them there most of the time (husband works 40-50hrs a week). I have night classes which leaves husband to do the evening routine atleast 2 nights a week, which is at best chaos and at worst disastrous. On his own husband can only manage the basics, dinner, baths and bedtime, so I come home to the house completely destroyed at 11 at night and stay up trying to get it ready for the morning routine. I seriously want to find a hole & crawl in it right now. I have a senior thesis project I have to do for psychiatric which I chose to do on the experiences of parents with special needs children, so I'm doing interviews which of course I cannot do with kids at home unless I do them online, and I have this massive pile of data to analyze but I'm not done yet (incidentally if anyone is interested in participating PM me) and that is only one of three classes I'm taking, plus I'm assisting with editing a textbook our psychiatric dept heads are writing. So yea........... I know this is a HUGE post but considering I haven't been on in forever I felt it necessary to give you guys the full rundown. If anyone has any advice for dealing with any of this feel free .... I need all the help I can get lol
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Wow. You have A LOT going on. I'm glad you found your way back to the forum. It always helps.
    I would suggest you set some priorities. The things that will be at the bottom of the list will just have to wait.
    I would think that graduating this year would be priority. Your kids and their challenges are not going to disappear so might as well be done with college as soon as possible.
    Could you sign up for respite for all 3 difficult children? It would give you some quiet time to work on your classes. Since all 3 have official diagnosis, insurance should cover it.
    Do you have friends, family or a babysitter who could take the 2 easy child's so you know they are being taking cared of while you concentrate on classes?
    The next thing, do your difficult children have IEPs? If not, you might want to launch the process. It is a lengthy one... But besides writing a letter and attending a meeting, it should not take you too much time until all testings are done. And by then, you would have graduated and *maybe* have more time.
    I am curious: what do you plan on doing once you graduate? Will a fulltime job take the place of studying?
    My third questions: do your kids benefit from private therapies to actively work on their respective issues?
    Gosh, you have so much going on! Maybe at one point, some tough choices will have to be made... (career wise).
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    That is a lot going on. While all ktllc's suggestions sound good I have nothing to add. Other then another mommy ear willing to listen as that has helped me a lot just to know I'm not alone. Just to get as far as you have gone is an accomplishment! I just started a school program and am having difficulties. Don't give up! And if you could get some help just long enough to get through school I'm sure that would be a huge weight.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Please don't take this the wrong way - and only you can figure out the right next steps. But...
    husband is working 40-50 hours a week.
    You're on an insane school schedule with an extreme workload.
    And you have money troubles besides.

    Before you say another word... this is a loaded, highly stressful situation.

    Add five kids... even five neurotypical easy child kids would be in trouble.

    I don't know what dxes you are dealing with or the severity of the problems, but... you need help.
    You can't afford to burn out.
    But you also can't afford to take it out on the kids.
    And difficult child kids tend to react very strongly in stressful situations.

    Do you have ANY family around at all that you can call on?
    This would be a good case for some old-fashioned help - like, an aunt or a cousin who can come in and keep the house in order, some food made ahead, etc., and take some pressure off.
    Or someone who can come in and take over the kids for a few hours - step into THEIR routine, but take you out of it?
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if the kids were adopted. No, I'm not teasing. I have a reason for asking.

    If not did any of them or all of them have very early extreme chaos in their lives?

    in my opinion the kids are acting as if they have attachment disorder and something bad obviously happened to the oldest child.

    What's the other part of this story? Do they go to therapy? Are these all your and hub's biological children? Did they all always live with you? If not, how was life when bio. mom or bio. dad was in the picture and is there any possible sexual or physical abuse in their past or did they witness it?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  6. jrocky

    jrocky New Member

    I'm new to this site so not sure if I'm typing this in the right place but my 8 year old son is just like what you described! Finally there is someone out there that knows what we're going through. We arent sure what we should do with our kiddo. He is a very intelligent child. Diagnosed with ADHD and severe anxiety. He refuses to do homework and melts down. If he actually calms down to do it, it takes hours to finish. His failing school, argues about everything, and throws huge tantrums to a point of having to be held down. Not sure what to think anymore!
  7. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Thank you all for responding. I'm going to try to answer all the questions but if I miss some let me know. First, SJ & LM are my bios, the other three are DHs bios, all live with us. The difficult children are all in counseling & I am trying to get respite care & in home therapy but Medicaid is covering less & less. As far as help there is little to none, my dad & my grandmother babysit for short periods but can't handle LM or MC having a meltdown. My bro is in the Army & about to be deployed again & husband has no fam. As for friends we have lost most of them due to being too busy to socialize.
    In reference to the reasoning behind their issues; my girls went through several years of their real dad being abusive toward me in every way possible & generally just wanting them out of his way. I think LM has attachment disorder but P-Dr disagrees. This is probably the only place I'll ever admit this besides to my therapist but my ex made a regular habit of forcing intercourse on me, before LM I was pregnant & had a miscarriage due to abuse, I wanted nothing to do with him at that point but he gave me no choice. When I found out I was preg with LM (8 weeks after my miscarriage) I fell apart, I was sick the entire pregnancy, lost almost 40 lbs, & did not want to be pregnant, I tried as hard as I could to get past that & kept telling myself that once she was born I would feel different. She was 6 weeks early, weighed under 4lbs when she was born. I took good care of her but the emotion was not their automatically like it should have been, it took a lot of work over the first two years or so to get to where I should be with her emotionally. We now have an excellent bond, almost too extreme on her part tho as she cries whenever I leave, even for class on nights she knows I have to go & often cries at school that she wants me & wants to go home. LM won't really talk about 'when we lived with her real dad' but ik she started exhibiting behaviors after a really bad incident that she tried, at 4yrs old, to intervene in. SJ probably remembers much more of the abuse than LM as she is 3yrs older but will talk about it quite casually like it doesn't bother her. She claims not to remember him hitting her tho & it was a regular instigator between the two of us that he would go after her with a belt starting at about 2yrs old.
    As for MC (& the PCs) their mom is worthless & has treated MC differently from day one, he was a fussy colicky baby & she wanted nothing to do with him so dad did everything, & has for all three for the most part. We have been lifelong friends so the kids grew up together & after both relationships ended around the same time we were there for each other & it became obvious pretty quickly that the feelings we had as teens were still there. He literally saved my life, I was at the end of my rope & he gave me hope, I did the same for him.
    Unfortunately both of the exes do have visitation & it is horrible for the kids, ESP my girls. DHs ex lives with her parents & they take care of the kids to some degree but they don't even have beds there. The custody battle with them was long & very nasty & their bio mom drug them thru the dirt in the process. We got MC full time first bc she beat him with a frying pan but CPS just called that improper discipline not abuse :/.
    My ex essentially bullied me into settling & allowing visitation bc of how the custody case was going & I couldn't prove he was a danger to the kids. He essentially just uses his custody & child support as a means of still having some control, rarely does anything with the girls, they're either with his parents or their older half sister watches them which scares the **** out of me bc she's only 14 & although she does well with LM she can't control her if she flips out.
    The kids all call us mommy & daddy, they see us as being all one family & we treat things that way unless its impossible to in a given situation. We NEVER play the 'your kids vs my kids' card, EVER. And the kids know they are all on level ground at home but that doesn't change the fact that they still have to go to the respective bios every other weekend. That is the only time I get to sleep & I work the whole time, plus it's fairly common for LM or MC to have to be picked up or just not go at all.
    I hope this answered everyone's questions & trust me it was not intentional to leave those details out, I just felt like my first post was ridiculously long already.
    Oh just remembered another Q; I will not be going to work full time or even part time right after graduation bc I can't really work a steady schedule & no one wants to hire me bc of the kids, we have at least 2 appointments a week, usually more & I'm liable to get a call from school most days & have to intervene over the phone, go to the school or even just go pick them up if its a really bad day. I am going to try to find something I can do from home for now bc we need the money & I will now have about 14 grand in loans to start paying on.
  8. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Oops missed one... LM has an IEP & is considered emotionally disabled by the SD but they are trying to keep her in a reg classroom which in my opinion is not fair to anyone, her, the teacher or the other kids, bc of her behavior. MC had an IEP process going that drug out from last year into this year and he was doing well at the start of the year so the school closed it even tho we anticipated this happening again & they wouldn't listen. SJ is an angel at school, she struggles some with attention but when we tried to start the IEP process we were told that her teachers all feel it is unnecessary & they will just work on accommodating her some which consisted of isolating her in a desk close to the teacher & the board. I'm currently trying to argue this decision & get something established for her.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    When it comes to IEPs, the rule seems to be... do NOT ask... you have to TELL them. As in - in writing, with signed proof of delivery returned to you. Then they have no choice. Don't discuss trying to start the IEP process, don't ask them if they will, just DO IT.
  10. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Have u had a full neuropsychologist evaluation done? We had no idea what was going on with LM or MC until we had their neuropsychs done, both were just diagnosed with ADHD & anxiety. It has helped to know what we're dealing with & has also been essential in getting any help from the school or county although as you can 'see' we're still battling with all of that. Before their official diagnoses though we couldn't even get a 504 or get anyone to listen to us.
  11. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    Sorry last post was a reply to jrocky, meant to say that :)

    Insane- you're right, I'm probably being way too passive about it. I need to go ahead & insist that things be put in place for MC for next year now that they can clearly see we were right that as things got more difficult & he settled in he would start having issues again. I'll have to look into the process here better bc so far I've just trusted the faculty/admin on how to handle things instead of officially demanding it like you suggested. Thank you for the input!
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take them to a specialist in both abuse and reactive attachment disorder as both could have happened to all of them. psychiatrists don't tend to know that much about attachment disorders, unless they specialize in adopted kids. However, you don't have to be adopted to have Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), nor are all adopted kids Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Still, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids have outrageous, uncontrollable behavior and no remorse for what they do (except for fake remorse). They also tend to potty and poop in weird places, are often cruel to animals (not always but often) and many enjoy fire a little too much. But there are attachment issues that are all over the spectrum. Something just isn't right with those kids. Due to their chaos in their early years, could somebody who came into the house sexually or physically abused them? Your hub was a very sick man. He could have hurt them too. If he was violent with YOU sexually and didn't value his daughter, God only knows if he touched them as well. You wouldn't necessarily know and they'd probably be terrified of him and wouldn't tell you. It's too bad have to see the other parents. That can't help. Who k knows what happens there? Maybe it's best if the girls go to other relatives than him. He sounds very capable of sexual abuse...ugh. I hate custody laws. Protects everyone but the kids.

    I don't know how long the neuropsychologist tested your kids, but although I'm no expert, they sound way over the top for just ADHD. My gut tells me more is going on. You have to go with YOUR gut and do what you feel needs to be done.

    I wish you luck, whatever you decide to do!
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You had neuropsychologist evaluations done... and that's all they came back with? ADHD and anxiety?
    How long were the evaluations? an hour? or 6-10 hours?

    A comprehensive evaluation should take 5-8 hours, often not in a single day because the kids can't handle that.
    Anxiety is a frequent secondary diagnosis.
    ADHD is a frequent first diagnosis - in the long run, a smaller proportion are "just" ADHD. The rest are either ADHD plus a list of other things, OR are something else entirely (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspie, bi-polar, etc.)

    How old are these kids? That also affects how detailed the testing can be.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    IC...don't you think that abusive father could have possibly been abusive to the kids too? This is not just your average jerky ex. I can't say here what he is...ya know?
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sorry I can't be of much help but I surely am sending hugs of support your way. DDD
  16. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    MidwestMom- the prospect of my girls being abused in the past and me not knowing is something I've considered. There wouldn't have been much opportunity for it to be anyone but their bio dad which nauseates me even more. I have not tried finding a specialist for that but have talked at length with their therapists and tried to ascertain what may have happened but so far neither of them has divulged anything. Like most parents I have talked to them from a very young age about good touching/ bad touching & always told them NO ONE should touch them in a bad way but of course we all know that doesn't always mean that a child will tell someone when something happens. As for the possibility of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) I think it is very likely that LM has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), (& it tears me up bc I feel responsible for that) she has classic symptoms including the fact that she appears to be a budding sociopath (she cares about no one's feelings but hers [sometimes mine if she makes me cry] & nothing but what she is interested in or wants), she shows no remorse except when she thinks it will get her out of trouble, we have had issues with her being cruel to animals (the worst being her killing her sister's guinea pig bc she was mad at her... She was 6), And don't even get me started on fire, I haven't been able to light candles since she was 4 unless its a case of the power being out & then I keep her right with me the whole time. She once almost burnt down an apartment building, would have if SJ wouldn't have seen her, she was 4 & I had lit a jar candle in the bathroom and she was dropping toilet paper in it and SJ came in right as she decided to sit the whole roll on top of the candle, SJ reacted super fast , at 7 yrs old, & knocked the whole thing candle & all into the toilet. It could've been REALLY bad, so we don't do candles anymore. All lighters and sharp objects & medication are out of reach & or locked up bc of LM. The biggest reason she's on medication at night is not for her to get more rest, it's so I can bc for years she would get up every night & get into things that could be extremely dangerous so I never did more than doze bc I was so afraid of her getting up while I was asleep. I still sleep so light that everything wakes me up bc of that. She has actual medical issues with her bladder & bowels but I don't think that is the full explanation for the fact that she still has to sleep in pull-ups & we just now at 9 yrs old got to where she's not having consistent accidents, but she still does at her bio dads which really concerns me.
    As far as DHs 3 I don't think there was any opportunity for anything with them bc they were never really away from husband except when he was at work & they were at school or daycare. I think the only thing there as far as abuse is with MC & was just that his bio mom can't handle him so she did go way beyond what I consider discipline on several occasions before we got him. He is fairly typical symptom wise for his diagnosis. He just acts up more with bio mom bc he doesn't want to be there & he wants her to send him home.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    MWM - there are so many layers with these kids that I'm having trouble tracking the details... but it's obvious that "simple" answers are simply not going to fit!
  18. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    To clarify my post about neuropsychs I worded it poorly. I was intending to as jrocky if they had done one. LM & MC were both diagnosed with ADHD & anxiety BEFORE the neuropsychs & we now have their diagnoses. I realized that some of you can't see my signature....
    Me: 31, stay at home mom, working on 2 degrees, Bipolar, PTSD, exhausted
    husband: 33, my BFF and highschool sweetheart, my rock, Marine to the core
    SJ (difficult child 1): daughter, 12; major ADHD, severe anxiety with- PTSD sx, dissociative disorder
    JB (easy child 1): daughter, 10; mild ADHD
    LM (difficult child 2): daughter, 9; Mood dysregulation, ADHD, ODD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), auditory processing issues, expressive lang. disorder
    MC (difficult child 3): DS, 8; Asperger's, Tourette's, ODD, ADHD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
    RB (easy child 2): DS, 4; perfect angel
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    P-Nut, LM sounds very disturbed. I adopted a child who was attachment disordered and he did everything she did (although he had no chance to b urn anything down), but he did kill a few dogs. He also abused his two younger adopted siblings and I'd worry about that with LM too. Once they get that disturbed and unattached with younger siblings, it becomes a danger and treatment is difficult, if not impossible.

    I did not read any other answers you got or finish reading your post beyond LM, but I think she needs to live elsewhere. She has all the signs of a sociopathic child (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is just that). You can't know all that she has done because the other kids will be afraid of her. This is what happened to us. We found out what our kid did, AFTER he was gone for several months.

    We didn't think our child had any chance to do anything either and we thought our younger kids would certainly tell us if anyone tried to touch them "bad" because we had repeatedly talked to them about it, but both were more afraid of him and believed we couldn't help them...that he would just kill us, as he threatened to do.

    Have you considered putting an alarm on her bedroom at night so that she can't get out without your knowing it? She may prowl in other rooms at night. hard as it is...I wouldn't let her be alone with any of t he other kids. She'd have to be in sight at all times, even outdoors.

    We hid everything too, just because we had foster kids (we had no idea THIS kid was a threat), but apparently he'd go into stores and easily steal lighters, knives, and other dangerous items without getting caught. As soon as we found out he had actually been the one who had killed our dog and then that he had sexually abused my two younger kids, that was his last day in our house. We called DCFS and told them to take him.

    What you do is your choice. You may look around to see if she can live in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). You probably do not know what she has been doing to everyone. It is a big red flag that she has killed an animal...and there are other red flags for her. Hugs!!!! and good luck. I feel so badly for your family and your poor kids. And I don't think bio. dad should EVER get his kids, but I know how hard it is to prove somebody is unfit...Back to our son we adopted who is no longer with us, he also had language issues and learning problems...I wonder if that is part of arrested development due to abuse. A lot of these abused kids have them, although plenty of not abused kids do too.

    I wish you the best. You have some hard choices to make.
  20. P-nut2004

    P-nut2004 New Member

    MWM- I just don't think I could make myself send her away, not at this point at least. It's so hard bc when she is happy she can be so sweet & it's like having two different kids. I would say unfortunately but I guess in this situation it's fortunate, our house is way too small. Doors are not allowed to be closed & we monitor them as constantly as possible which is not hard bc theres nowhere to hide. Only JB & SJ are allowed outside without me or husband watching them. I really don't think any of them are afraid of her bc shes never been violent besides to animals or hurting herself. I know for sure MC isn't afraid of her, he bullies her so that would really only leave RB (bc the older girls don't take any bs from her) & he is usually glued to me or husband. The girls share a room (for what it's worth they have separate beds & the room is actually 20'x15' bc it's supposed to be the den) & the boys share a room, so I can't lock her in or put an alarm on the door. Plus SJ & JB report anything & everything anyone does & they definitely wouldn't be afraid to tell me if she was being inappropriate. I'm not dismissing what you're saying at all, I guess I just don't want to give up on her & there hasn't been any indication of her being a threat to the other kids.