The most difficult parts, to me, fall into categories (sorry, I'm clueless how to be short): As a parent -- Knowing that the dreams I had when I adopted my daughter won't happen. Not because she's not capable of succeeding at whatever she wants but because she refuses to do what is necessary to succeed. The incredible fear that she will destroy her life just to prove that she can do whatever she wants. Watching other children play together age-appropriate and have fun. Watching friendships form for other children. Watching my child stand on the sidelines rejected, alone or being used. Finally being forced to send her to someone else to give her what I couldn't -- complete structure, instant rewards and consequences. The two years she was at an emotional growth boarding school were the most heartbreaking, difficult centuries I've ever experienced. As a friend -- The loss of friends who were not willing to accept that this child ("that monster") is my child and that she comes first ... before them, before myself, before anyone. As a student's parent -- The constant phone calls complaining of acting out, running from class, not going to class that have been ongoing since pre-school until today. As an employee -- The many jobs I have lost because of having to take time off to be there for my daughter for school issues, therapy, meetings. The stress of wondering when I would be called in to be terminated (going through that again now). As an individual -- The isolation from others. Neighbors who won't speak to me because of the disruption my daughter has caused, the thefts she did when younger. Shoppers who would stare at my daughter as she demanded whatever she wanted and her rages when refused. Friends, professionals and strangers who would offer advice that I knew would never work for my child (I'd tried spanking her - nada; I'd tried point systems, reward systems, direct consequences, rewards, everything - nada). I'm one of the lucky ones. My daughter has a chance. At 12, she didn't. At 12, I foresaw a child who would be a high school dropout, pregnant and on drugs by 16. Today, she is 16, still in school (not sure whether she will graduate, but I'm hopeful), pregnancy is no longer a major fear and very anti-drugs (this is another one that could go either way, depending on who her friends are). ODD is truly an ugly, devastating disorder. It is a daily, non-stop battle over every thing. Your chld feels so entitled that s/he will say and do whatever s/he feels is necessary to get what s/he wants. It is mentally and physically painful. Most parents dealing with it end up suffering from stress-related depression. There is a true sense of hopelessnes. I used to compare it having to deal with a teenager when my daughter was 6 and 7. Today, I am dealing with a very immature teenager but I've learned how to cope much better even though there are times when the hurt flows to the point I feel like she has literally torn out my heart and stomped on it. Detaching only goes so far.