Daughter does it again! Long angry rant (LAR).

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DazedandConfused, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    This is part of a process to try and get over my EXTREME rage at Daughter for once again putting us on display like a freak show in public. I swear all we needed was a barker to bring in a larger crowd. I’m so angry and I feel like I’m never NOT going to be angry again.
    Today, Daughter was to have four wisdom teeth pulled, after very carefully orchestrating her school schedule, my work schedule, along with the oral surgeon’s schedule. During her pre-op she, and I, were told explicitly that she was not to eat, or drink, ANYTHING after 10pm last night. I went over and over with her on that and it was carefully explained the reasons why she was to do that. They were going to put her under a general and didn’t want to risk her possibly vomiting and choking. Again, very carefully explained. She has been in a lot of pain because of her wisdom teeth and was anxious to get them removed.
    I rush out of work, which wasn’t easy, as it is the first day of school where I work, to run home and pick her up. She marches right up to the front desk and tells them that she had “two” chips because she was “so hungry”. The front desk people get very wide-eyed and say that they might not be able to do the surgery. They ask what time she ate, etc. They take her back to meet the Dr. and he declares that he’s simply not willing to take the risk and do the surgery. Daughter comes out red-eyed and crying into the lobby. Luckily, there are only a couple of people there. The front desk people are trying to figure out what to do. Daughter starts throwing a fit saying “I’ll MAKE him do the surgery!” So, they come up with a plan to give her gas and then shots to numb her mouth. Daughter freaks and says she’s afraid of the pain. After everyone tries to reassure her that she will be fine, she relents if I agree to be in the room with her. Everyone is on pins and needles awaiting my answer. Fine, I’ll go in.
    I go in and they put a little mask over her nose. She’s being rude and blaming me for her eating because I wasn’t home (me, working). Then, she says it’s not her fault because it only said don’t have breakfast. Or, I’m a bad Mom because I am offering her no sympathy. Of course, I’m growing angrier by the second, but handing myself okay. I just want her to be quiet and tell her to lay back and relax. Think about her last trip to the beach when she had such a great time. She goes back and forth. Good, then upset again. The doctor comes in and says in a pleasant voice, “Well, you can go now, we’ll take care of her”. I ask if he’s asking me to leave. He laughs and says “Yes”. I respond, “I don’t think that is a good idea, she’s very afraid. I been through a lot with her, it’s probably better that I stay”. Doctor wouldn’t go for it. He thinks my kid is a typical kid and I’m a typical parent. Just peachy.
    About five minutes later, here comes doctor. “It would be better to bring her back another day so that she can be put under a general. I DON’T WANT HER TO HAVE BAD FEELINGS ABOUT COMING TO THE DENTIST!” I took a big sigh and tried to explain that Daughter has had many medical procedures, and surgeries, over the years and still goes to the doctor. So, I don’t think “bad feelings” are the issue. Will he please reconsider me being in the room? In short, “no way” was his answer. Then he tells me that when he went to give her the numbing shot, Daughter tried to grab the needle out of his hand. Too dangerous to continue. So, that was that.
    I’m waiting in the lobby and the Dr’s assistant comes out and asks if I’m waiting to speak to the doctor. I respond, “No, the doctor has spoken, I’m waiting to take my kid home”. A few minutes later, daughter appears in the lobby frantic and crying. I get up to leave and as politely as I can tell the front desk people I will make another appointment when I come in next week for myself. I’m just trying to get her out of there.
    I get out the door just trying to make it through the maze of office buildings to get to the parking lot. Daughter starts screaming, “Go back! Go back! I can make him to do it!” She’s grabbing me and pulling me, nearly knocking me over. Then, she’s locks her arms around me trying to stop me from moving. All the while screaming and yelling. People begin to come out of the offices to see what the commotion is all about. That is people that couldn’t already see through their office windows. I make it to the parking lot and she begins to desperately grab, pull, yank, and lock her arms around me. I lose one of my shoes and nearly fall over again trying to break free. While I’m trying to keep myself from falling and my head is about two feet from the ground, I turn and see a whole group of people lined up along the opposite side of the parking enjoying the freak show display.
    I’m trying to get in the car. I even take my keys that are on a long lanyard and swing them at her to get her to let go of me. She keeps trying to lock her arms around my upper body and shove me back to the dentist’s office. With one shoe on (and it’s over 100 degrees on asphalt on my bare foot) I make it into the car. I’m slumped over the wheel with daughter screaming at me and refusing to close the passenger side door. Finally, I lose it. “Get in the car NOW, or I drive off with, or without you. I don’t care anymore”.
    Finally, we’re on the road and I lit into her. I blew my stack. Once again I am being subjected to Daughter’s public displays of out of control behavior. When she’s like that, there is simply no penetrating her wall. About half way home, she begins to realize what she did. She’s begging forgiveness and promising “next time” she will follow directions. She’s asking me over and over if I care about her. Why do they always do that? I answered that all of what I do answers that question. I just couldn’t say it.
    We get home, and she (of course, once again!) wants a hug. I literally feel repulsed. “No, I can’t I need space”. She starts up again and follows me into the house screaming she needs a hug. If I just give her a hug she will leave me along. She begins grabbing and pushing me again. I really have to restrain myself. I’m very strong and could hurt her. I keep repeating, “Give me space, Daughter, give me space”. Then, she says she wants to kiss me on the cheek. I don’t want one. I used to play that with her, but today I just can’t. She manages to kiss me on the leg and promptly leaves my room stating, “That’s all I wanted”.
    She’s already tried to sneak in my room through the sliding glass door. I grabbed her phone and tried to break it over my knee. It didn’t break, but it did get her to leave me alone.
    So, here I am locked in my room to gather myself. I don’t think I really realized until today just how much PTSD I have left over from my childhood. My Dad was a freak show onto himself and he used to embarrass me with his constant outrageous public behavior. When I was a kid, I used to fantasize that he was not my “real” dad, and that someday my real Dad (of course, being normal and kind) would emerge from the shadows to claim me and give me a normal life.
    Those same feelings overtake me when Daughter does this kind of stuff. I work so hard to give her, and her brother, a loving and secure home. I work endlessly to make sure they have all that they need. I just want peace. I’ve always just wanted peace and I’ve never been able to achieve it because I’ve always had to deal with some out of control family member. I think it’s a big part of the reason I don’t like parties, or large group social gatherings. It’s just too uncomfortable. Now, with Daughter, she will even spoil a small family gathering. She nearly ruined last Xmas at my sister’s because she messed with her computer and my sister was angry about it because her computer IS her business. Daughter flew into a rage because my sister touched her arms.
    I hope this doesn’t happen when she’s 18. I can see myself tossing all her belongings into the street.
  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Oh goodness, DazedandConfused.

    So sorry that Daughter has subjected you to the public freak show. Is there some way that you can get someone else (husband? a relative?) to take her to the dentist next time? She may be equally volatile with others, but they may not have the PTSD going on.

    Not quite the same, but I once had to drag my difficult child...all 6+feet of him...by the back of the coat and the scruff of the neck through the pharmacy and the waiting room back into the Dr's office, after he bolted during a visit. He was lying on the pharmacy floor and refused to get up. I said "Get up or I'll move you myself". He had to have the exam before they would renew his medications and I wasn't about to live through an unmedicated difficult child at that point.

    The public displays are a real killer. Bystanders have no idea of the kinds of issues our difficult children are dealing with, and just assume we're the circus.

    Sending a soothing cup of tea (or a margarita, your choice), gentle hugs, and some peace and quiet.

  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Woooo... I hope you feel better after getting all that out, because in my most sheepish voice with head ready to duck under desk I can understand her if she freaks over dental people. I know, people who don't have that anxiety don't understand, but I actually freak the same way. I have a tooth that they told me HAD to be removed a year ago. I have extreme intermittent pain with it. I have a bigger issue with a dental prof. with a huge needle in my mouth and power tools in front of my face. I don't have a problem with someone cleaning or checking my teeth, but ever since a dentist accidentally shot novacaine into a nerve when I was 16 yo- I have major freak episodes with dental people.

    I'm really sorry- I know it must have been a nightmare for you and you have to be frustrated to no end. I understand that. But, does she have a phobia or anxiety about dr's or dental prof's? If so, she told about the chips for that reason. So, the best chance is to explain that to the dr and they will prescribe a tranquilizer to take before even coming to his office- like a day or two before. Now, my phobia of it has gotten so bad that I can't even do that.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS- they would prescribe the tranquilizer for her- but if you wanted to take one, too, they would probably understand. :)
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I found myself grinding my teeth just reading what you wrote! How awful and embarrassing! I would be surprised if they even let you make another appointment for her. Is there a chance that you can get the first appointment in the morning? I know you will want to get this over with as soon as possible because she won't leave you alone about it until it is done. Maybe they can give her an injection when she arrives to calm her enough to get her into the room without knocking her completely out before they get her into the chair.

    I forget what her diagnosis is. This behavior is so out of control! I know you feel like your PTSD is kicking in, and to an extent that is probably true. But no one should have to deal with that type of behavior, and you shouldn't feel badly that you were overwhelmed. I hope that she will see the benefit in trying to figure out how to avoid that type of reaction/behavior in the future.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I find myself empathizing. I have been there with my daughter, but she's not 17. I can certainly understand your anger. She seems very unstable. If she ever does that to you again, call 911 or ask someone else to. I asked Missy's therapist about what to do when that happens in public and she told me to do that. If nothing else, it might scare her enough not to pull that again and try to gain control of herself. This is the one thing that keeps my from taking my daughter places when I think the anxiety is too high, which might cause her to pull this. Should you make the arrangements for her again (which I think I would make her do all the grunt work if she wants it done) can you ask the doctor for some anti-anxiety medications for the night before?

    I'm looking at your profile. Does she have a diagnosis?
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I started to reply to this earlier, but got side-tracked... anyway, Loth said it MUCH better than I had started to!

    I've also been there with my difficult child 1, but that was two years ago when he was 11 1/2 and was very ill and only weighed 57 pounds so I was still able to overpower him (and it was ME dragging HIM into a lab for bloodwork). I will never forget my sense of anger, frustration, embarassment, humiliation -- the whole ball of wax, as complete strangers watched slack-jawed while I tried to pry his fingers from the hand rail as he dissolved into a screaming, writhing puddle of limbs on the ground. It was just awful.

    After that, I had a long, insistent conversation with our psychiatrist asking for help so that he could get through these situations without such horrific drama. For my kid, Ativan was the magic bullet, and then guided imagery was added later, and then an SSRI to address his innate anxiety that pushed him over that edge into phobic-land. I'm happy to report that two years later, he manages these situations without the Ativan. Doesn't mean he doesn't get upset, but he copes SO much better and he feels more in control of himself. It's been good for everyone.

    I hope once you calm down a bit you can reach her to talk about what you two just went through and begin working on a plan to improve the outcome for next time. There are lots of different ways to approach it, but the key is finding what works for her AND you.


    And just to add a little post script here...

    I found it to be IMMENSELY helpful to get the clinician (whether it be the phlebotomist, the dentist, the IV nurse, etc.) up to speed on my kid's basic history/issues as it relates to the procedure at hand. I drafted a "To Whom It May Concern" letter explaining his phobia, the best way to handle him for a successful outcome, and the consequences for choosing to ignore his needs (like a frantic, uncooperative kid having a panic attack, vomiting, hyperventilating, screaming, kicking, etc., as well as the likelihood of a FAILED appointment -- translation, a waste of everyone's time). I simply handed it to the front desk at check in and made sure everyone understood before I took him back to wherever the procedure was being done. Let me tell you, it made a WORLD of difference in everyone's attitude (they were very appreciative), and there were absolutely no surprises. Forewarned is fore-armed!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It is so hard to knowingly go that long without anything to eat or drink. It was so hard for me not to give difficult child a drink of water when he was preparing for oral surgery - I was so tempted. But I used to work for a dentist (did the paper work for the surgeries) who did surgery once a week. I know how important it is for no food or drink before the surgery.

    However, your daughter's behavior was way over the top. Has she been diagnosed with any behavior issues? Kids that age don't behave like that.

    That nagging for a hug is something I have lived through. I absolutely hate that - it always feels like a power thing - difficult child wanted to feel like he still could get me to do whatever and knowing I was upset figured that a hug or kiss would give him control back - I would put an end to whatever and he could return to his own ways. That was my feelings.

    That determination to make the doctor follow through on something he felt was dangerous is scary - It is one thing to try to make a parent do something, it is another level of authority to get a doctor to do something.

    Rant away - then when you calm down, look at other things that your daughter is doing that upsets you. Make a written list and share them with her doctor. Ask if there is anything on that list that should be addressed by a psychologist or psychiatrist.

    Follow your heart - you know best.
  9. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    Wow!!!! Glad you came out unscaved... I would definitely think about mildly sedating her or something before you get her to her next appointment. I read your sig after reading all of your post. It really surprised me when I saw on your sig that she was 17. Yikes!! She is a bit over the top.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    How ugly! The others have offered you wonderful suggestions ~ I'll offer you a hug & an Irish coffee for the morning.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I long ago stopped caring about how it looks to other people. If I continued to care, it would be too easy for my kids to hold me to ransom over how other people think. This way, I just shrug and walk away.

    One thing - why did you try to break her phone? Confiscate, maybe - but why break it? Remove the batteries and SIM for sure...

    She's caught in a cycle of histrionics purely for attention and then tries to organise the world (and you) to rewrite the truth to some fiction she can tolerate. I think you're doing what you can when you walk away - I wouldn't have given her a hug either - but I think you need more weapons in your armoury. Are you getting help for you? Has your therapist got any advice for the best way to handle her when she's being such a problem?

    I understand the dentist's reluctance to try to operate on someone so clearly uncooperative and unstable, there are safety issues - but I do get the feeling that he was trying to find excuses for calling it off. I'd be considering a different dentist, one who you have primed beforehand to know where she's coming from and to not buy into her tantrums.

    I strongly hope that ANY complaining she does about her teeth hurting - remind her, calmly, that she only has herself to blame if those wisdom teeth are still able to hurt her. She had her chance to get them out and she sabotaged it thoroughly. She's 17 - she knew darn well exactly what she was doing.

  12. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    I'm feelin' your pain, Dazed! It is so humiliating when difficult child's act out in public. It's like a big spotlight is shining on your parenting skills. You imagine the other people thinking "What the heck is wrong with that kid? Why doesn't the Mother do something to get him under control?" I always feel like I could have the strength to do the right thing, if only I knew what the "right thing" to do was!

    My difficult child act out like that also, especially during things he considers "scary". It's like he has no coping skills to deal with unpleasant feelings -- whenever he feels anxious or angry or frustrated there is a big meltdown. My problem is that he refuses to try and help himself. Won't take medications, won't see therapist. Arrr!

    Following you around asking you for hugs and kisses really seems like two things. First, powerplay, like "you still have to love me" Second, maybe she really was upset with herself and felt that if she could get you to forgive her it really wasn't that bad and she didn't have to feel guilty. I understand the feelings of disgust. They totally ruin your day and you are all upset and then they will say, casually, "love ya" Like everything is peachy-keen. The other day mine asked me why I'm always so crabby with him. I paused a minute and then told him the truth. I said "I guess I'm just still angry with you for all the cr@p you have been putting us through for the past 2 years." I'm tired of pretending that I still feel the same about him. He has hurt me deeply and I'm just not willing to be that vulnerable....

    Mine refused to go to his oral surgeon appointment (I had to call and explain why we were a no-show), so he still hasn't had his wisdom teeth yanked, but I told him I'm not going through it again. If he wants to go he will have to call and schedule and such. I'm not willing to fight him on it. I have been fighting with him on medications and apointmments and responsibilties for years. I know it sounds awful, but if his teeth are a mess because of it that is just going to be his problem. He can deal with it on his own. (Wow, that sounds bitter, doesn't it?) I just don't have it in me to fight him on these things anymore.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Aaarg. What an episode.
    I don't see in your sig where difficult child has a diagnosis or is on any medications. I'm seeing all sorts of behaviors here.
    I agree, the next time she complains about her mouth, calmly say, "You're welcome to schedule an appointment to have it taken care of."
    So sorry about your PTSD. I would see someone to talk it out and get on medications if nec so you can handle your daug. She needs an adult to supervise and guide her. Clearly, she can't make it on her own.
    I know how exhausting this is. And I know what it feels like when they want to hug you and you can't stand to be around them.
    So sorry.
  14. Momslittleangels

    Momslittleangels New Member

    I could have written this post myself - - - seriously......

    When difficult child was the same age, her teeth were horrible and she needed significant dental work to fix the cavities, etc. The dentist she regularly saw absolutely REFUSED to see her anymore, because of the fits she would throw. So when the time came, we found a dentist in the San Fernando Valley, which was a 1 1/2 hour drive from my home during rush hour traffic and he was the only person in the area that would use sedatives, etc for routine dental work.

    Soooooo - - we have a consultation with the dentist, and I explain about all of her BiPolar (BP) medications and her attitude issues and her fears, etc. He is so sure he has a great combination of sedatives that won't have a bad reaction to her other medications that we agree to get this work done.

    So, the first thing I was to do was give her a Xanax type pill before we go....fine. That worked. So then we arrive at the office and she lethargically gets into the dentist chair....fine. That worked. THEN.....just as soon as I relax in the waiting room....it all falls apart. The nurse comes out and says that she is "upset" - - uh huh, seen that before. They said they were going to give her another drug to calm her more - - - which doesn't work. Finally, the doctor makes the HUGE mistake of trying to take her headsets for the CD player off her heat and she HITS the guy.

    DONE - NEXT......the doctor tells me he won't work on her and to reschedule. So my daughter starts freaking out because she could see how upset and embarrassed I was. It took two nurses and myself to help carry her to our car. So - - - - back into traffic we go for the 1 1/2 hour ride home. I figured she would sleep all of the way home, but instead, she started flipping out in the car and kept trying to open the door and get out. I kept locking the door and she would unlock it. It was so frightening to have this going on while driving.

    Then we get home, and I told her to go lay down and let all of the medication wear off, but she started getting irate and wandered around our pool, falling down and almost cracked open her head. It was horrible and the work never got done. She already has a bridge on her upper front teeth, because we had to pull them out...

    I hope you don't mind me sharing my story too, but as I was reading yours, I could FEEL your embarrassment and frustration. If you need any recommendations of dentists in the So. CA area, please PM me, and I would be happy to share some dentists we have used.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yep. "No matter what I do you still love me enough to hug and kiss."
  16. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    That's for sure. difficult child's line is "But you HAVE to care. You're the MOM!"
  17. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I truly cannot express how grateful I am for all of your kind, sympathic, and informative responses. I cling to them like a lifesaver in very rough seas.

    First off, Daughter has never had an "official" diagnoses. At one point, a psychiatrist was calling it Bipolar, but I just don't think it was a proper fit for her. She's also had "mood disorder" pinned to her. However, two other psychiatrists disagreed and told me she did not fit the diagnostic descriptions. To be perfectly candid, after all I have researched on it, I tend to agree.

    She's had three years of therapy with two different therapists. Mostly for depression. I know she feels like an oddball. In hindsite, I think it was somewhat helpful. However, what I always really wanted for her was to have cognitive behavioral therapy along with peer group therapy. I've never been able to find it. Everything is so focused on either severe mental illness, or abused and neglected children, or old people.

    She's had a lot of support of the years from school counselors and administrators. Though last term, and in summer school, she had this one teacher who, to make a very long story short, targeted her with constant harassment. This teacher, in my opinion, is/was emotionally unstable. I won't go into all that had happened, but it ended up with me filing a formal complaint. Plus, I may be making myself vulnerable to slander, but I've been telling ANYONE, AND EVERYONE, about this woman and what my daughter went through with her. She's a 28 year veteran with tenure and it won't be easy to get rid of her. So, everyone I know that has a kid going to that school I not-so-descretly tell them to NOT allow their child in her class. Yes, she works for the same district as me. The one advantage I have with that is that when I wrote that three page letter, I knew right where to hit the district to make them listen. It even got the principal to come back early from his summer vacation to get with the DO to figure out what they are going to do about her.

    Anyway...back to the subject at hand.

    I didn't even think about a sedative for her. If I had thought, even remotely, that this was going to happen, I would have insisted on that beforehand. She was fine until she found out the Dr wasn't going to use a general on her. She fought the alternative and when she realized the extractions weren't going to happen, that is when she unleashed the beast.

    She also was starving along with not having such sleep. I know, a recipe for disaster. I had been encouraging her all week to adjust her sleep schedule for school. She just blew me off like she does most of the time until she wants something from me. Still, I didn't suspect she was so full of anxiety until she freaked about the general. Of course, later that night after she crashed for a few hours, she gets up and tells me that she had been talking to anyone and everyone (all teenagers) who has had their wisdom teeth out and they were telling her all these horror stories. Just great. She got herself to wound up that inside she was a ticking time bomb.

    I was honest with her about the pain. She wouldn't feel it while they extracted them, but she would be sore for at time afterwards. However, I would make sure she was prescribed PLENTY of pain medication so that she would be comfortable. Of course, I'm Mom and anything I have to say doesn't matter. What her friends say is all that matters.

    Marg, as far as the phone. My behavior was silly and mello-dramatic. I've taken her phone so many darn times. She lost it for nearly a year not so long ago. This one she's only had since April. It's a poweful tool to control her negative behavior, but at the time, I just wanted it gone and no way to get it back. I had suprised her with it. She was grateful AT FIRST. Then, in a few months she whining that she wants something else.

    As far as caring about what other people think. Yes, I do care to a certain degree. I admit it. I think it is perfectly reasonable and normal. Will I get over this? Yes, of course. It doesn't eat at me or consume me. I know that we are probably the gossip of the office today and the topic of many people's dinner table conversations. It's humiliating. Ultimately, does it matter? No, it doesn't. Still I need to be honest with myself so that I can cope with the pain of yesterday. Having it put on public display was very painful for me.

    To give you an idea, when my parents divorced, it was on the front page of our local newspaper (My Dad was a city official). Horrible things were written them and my family was very hurt. I was a teenager, and people, ADULTS, would walk right up to me and tell me what a loser my Dad was. It was devastating for me to have private family business put out for public display. Obviously, if someone were to walk to up me today, I would verbally smack them with a 2 X 4 on the head. I guess, Daughter's behavior just pushes all those buttons again. It's really for the first the time that I am considering just how affected I am about what happened all those years ago and how Daughter's behavior affects me now.

    gvcmom, that is a wonderful idea. I think I might do something similiar with Son. He doesn't meltdown like Daughter, but he does over the top stuff too when it comes to medical, dental, and eyecare (he wears glasses). If I give everyone a heads up they are better prepared for some of his antics.

    Anyway, Daughter has always struggled with her negative emotions. I know they overwhelm her at times. Mostly, though, she seems to handle it okay. But, have I been living so close to the fire for so long that I don't notice how hot it is? I don't know, anymore. Daughter does have a lot of typical teenager behavior minus the over the top outbursts. It's hard for me to separate the typical teen from the difficult child.

    She's suppose to graduate early this year, as long as she passes the language arts portion of the exit exam. She has her driver's permit. She wants to get a job, but really hasn't applied herself. At this age, I was in school and working nearly full time. I had a car and my own money.This along with living with a narcisstic, alcoholic parent.

    As far as medication, I don't know. She's real anti right now. She's been on several. Wellbutrin worked well for a while as did Depakote. When those became less effective, we went to the psychiatrist and tried zoloft. She never gave it much of a chance and stopped taking it after a few days. She hates taking anything. Even when she has a headache she doesn't like taking anything.

    I think I need to take her out to dinner and have a long conversation with her. I've got so much going on. I'm working on a research paper and the deadline is the 15th. I don't know if I'm going to make it in time. Once it's done, I still have to present my findings. I guess, if she's willing, we will shlep back to the psychiatrist and see if he has any ideas.

    I'm still trying to figure out exactly what direction I am going to go. I really appreciate that I have you all to vent it out to.

    Again, please accept my deepest appreciation.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
  18. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A belated "I get it" response from this corner. Oldest has had several surgeries. Something about the medications combined with her emotional instability makes her a complete whacko. Last time she had an endoscopy done, she was a raging maniac in the recovery room, screaming for more pain medications despiting having a hefty dose. You could hear her out in the waiting area. I was SO embarrassed. Finally the doctor released her,told her to go to the ER if she was in so much pain, and that she might think of stopping by teh psychiatric ward on her way. He then promptly discharged her from his practice, citing her "non-compliance" with medications and instructions.

    Personally, I just wanted to leave her there and let them deal with her.

    Hugs. You've gotten some great advice here.
  19. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member


    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with your difficult child. I'm sorry you had to go through that, yet it's so nice I don't have the only 17 year old girl that does this kind of thing.

    Two years ago, Daughter got a huge boil on her arm. It opened and drained on it's own. It healed, but never really all the way. It was very painful for Daughter. Finally, I told her she had to go to the pediatrician to get it lanced.

    She was scared, but I assured her that they would numb her arm and she wouldn't feel it.

    So, fast forward to her laying on the table. Doctor uses spray numbing stuff. He takes out the sharp scalpel. Daughter semi-freaks and raises the fist of her other arm, holds it up the doctor, and threatens to punch in him the face. I just kinda laugh it off, and the doctor follows my cue. When she realized it wasn't hurting, she relaxed.

    Of course, when we left, she was relieved and in much less pain.

    Honestly, I don't know if they will allow her back. We were already outside when she really went out of control. I suppose I will know when I go back next week to get my new crown. I'm sure they will not have forgetton me.

    I only good thing about going to this dentist's office is that it's big and has a high turnover of office personnel. Chances are, when I come back in six months, the same people will not be there. I do like my dentist there, he's very thorough.
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A few more thoughts.

    First - YOUR self-esteem. Your earlier experiences were horrible, nobody should have to go through that, especially not a kid. Unfortunately the media will give the public what sells, and what sells most is scandal. For people to walk up to someone involved (especially a kid) and say horrible things about your father, is just plain wrong. Now you're an adult and stronger (as well as coming form a position of more power - kids are powerless by comparison, unfortunately, which is why I think people felt free to tell you what they did) you can feel more capable of dealing with any such negativity. In your shoes I would look back and say to them. "You say you think my father is a loser - and you're telling me this WHY? Because your opinion is of absolutely no importance to me whatsoever." And you could say this regardless of your own opiion.

    But this is now. Much as we'd like to go back and deal with things better, we can't. Sometimes replaying it in our heads with a more powerful ending can be good therapy, though.

    But your self-esteem would have taken a big beating because of this experience and it takes a great deal to get it back. This makes you far more vulnerable to every little aside glance, the hand to the mouth, the careful not-looking-at-you body language from other people. It hurts.

    I've been working on my self-esteem since high school, when all the girls would get together at lunchtime for the daily character assassinations. The girls talked about most were the ones who weren't there. It was tragicomical, and I made a decision - I wouldn't hang around with those girls. As a result, I was talked about. My reputation was MUD. I didn't get invited to the best parties - but if I had been, I would have again had to watch my every move and every gesture, to avoid getting talked about.

    What has been important to me since then - being able to be myself. Yes, I was lonely as a kid, but I am not lonely now. I am good at making friends fast but I am not good at following the social rules. I can see them - I'm not autistic myself - but I make my own choices about how to behave. If I walk past a swing set in the park and feel like playing on them, I will. So what if I'm over 50?

    I think my age is a part of it - I was at the tail end of the hippie era, where freedom of expression was far more understandable and acceptable. There was a moral swinging back of the pendulum immediately afterwards. But even in my age group, I'm viewed as an eccentric. I've not only accepted this, I've embraced it.

    This is what has helped me most, about accepting the stares of people aghast at public misbehaviour of my kids.

    Something else that may help you (it helped me) is to have a store of things to say when your child is having a very public outburst.

    1) Welcome to my nightmare.

    2) I present to you one more reason why abortion should be retrospective.

    3) She's rehearsing for a TV ad for contraceptives - she's the "you could end up with one of these" disincentives.

    4) Hmm, not bad - but her tantrums are usually much bigger on the Richter scale, this is her - behaving.

    And so on. I'm sure you could think of better ones. It can be therapeutic to think of them. It's easy - just mentally visualise just how awful you felt, then think of what you would have liked to have said, if only you dared (and could have thought of it at the time).

    Now - HER self-esteem. It's probably rock-bottom. Unless her capacity for self-deception is of astronomic proportions, she has to be aware, at least some of the time at some level, of just how unpleasant she must be, to have around. The way she is pursuing you to beg for a hug tells a lot here - she is wanting reassurance of your unconditional love; and I think you are right to back off on this, because part of her misbehaviour is testing - how bad must I be before she will reject me? She would then keep upping the ante until you finally refused to give her a hug. (And a stolen hug or stolen kiss doesn't count - it must be freely given, unsolicited, to be of value. Tell her).

    Her diagnosis (or lack of) - I'm wondering if there's the possibility of Asperger's. There was some discussion about this a few weeks ago on this site, about how Asperger's seems to manifest differently in girls. Certainly, tantrums of that scale have happened with us, with easy child 2/difficult child 2. I met up with her yesterday at her work (haven't seen her for over a week). Immediately she launched into a tirade about her college course - again, a problem blown way out of proportion. I was only talking to her for five minutes and left feeling exhausted. And at home this morning I've been preparing for dinner tonight, cooking a family favourite with a friend helping. I commented that at a certain point in the recipe, I used to puree the vegetables into the tomato-based sauce because easy child 2/difficult child 2 would always make a big fuss about 'bits' in the gravy. And now she no longer lives at home, I don't have to. There is so much we do, that I no longer have to worry about. She is incredibly obsessive and made life very exhausting. And back when she was 17 - oh, horrible! At times a darling, always wanting a hug (often at inappropriate times) and other times floods of tears, tantrums, raging - I sometimes didn't have to say a thing and I would still get attacked for not being supportive or saying the wrong thing.

    One thing I did - I would wait until she was calm, then try to gently broach the subject of my concerns. if she began to get upset I would drop the topic and walk away; we would only talk about it while she was capable of staying calm enough. Slowly we were able to get the message across that we were concerned and that her behaviour was not normal nor acceptable. When you talk about taking your daughter to dinner for a long talk, I get the feeling that you're using a similar tactic to me.

    Your daughter may not be Aspie. I only mention it because we're fairly sure our daughter is, and they sound similar. Plus you mentioned your daughter possibly graduating early, which tells me she's bright? So is easy child 2/difficult child 2 - IQ measured at 145.

    As I drove away from the mall yesterday I remarked to mother in law about my meeting with easy child 2/difficult child 2 and her complaints about her course. I said I thought her biggest problem was the change foisted on her schedule by the course adding an extra night's study. She is very much a creature of habit and routine; very obsessive. Star posted somewhere in Watercooler with the quote which my kids have adopted - "I have CDO. It's like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) only the letters are all where they should be in their proper alphabetical order."
    That's my younger three.

    Something to check also - does your daughter currently, or has she in the past, cut herself or self-mutilated in any way? easy child 2/difficult child 2 stopped at about 18 but hid it well before then. She would throw a tantrum if I asked to look at her arms, which she kept covered even in the height of an Aussie summer. Now she wears short sleeves but if you know where to look you can see the scars. She will talk about it now - she said she hurt so much inside, she needed to see the physical damage to match the internal pain, as if to acknowledge and validate the pain. She said she had to see blood. It wasn't anything suicidal or even close to it, but it still could have been dangerous. There was also the obsessive picking at her skin and especially at scabs. difficult child 3 is bad with this - he would worry at any loose end (whether in clothing, or his skin) and would make a small rip in a shirt huge by the end of the day (so I learned to patch his clothes thoroughly) and could erode a small scratch to a huge hole, in his body. Covering it helped.
    difficult child 3 had surgery on his wrist for a ganglion - it should have healed quickly, but he picked at the incision and the scar got infected. Six months later it still hadn't healed so I took to dressing it every day and then covering it up with a heavy-duty plaster. Doctors had told us to leave it uncovered so the scar could heal faster; but for difficult child 3, we have to keep it covered to keep him from it. Finally we found sticking down a layer of gauze was best - it let the air get to it through the gauze, but his fingers couldn't pick at it. The other thing that helped were the expensive healing plasters, gel-filled.

    So if any of this sounds familiar, check out the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on www.childbrain.com and see if she scores anything there. Even if she scores "no Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)" print the results and take them to her doctor next time, to see if anything you've noted can ring a bell.

    When you go back to the dentist's, be matter-of-fact about your daughter. Yes, she is like this. No, it's not anything you've done. NO, you can't control her behaviour, she has to control herself and she's not good at it. Yes, she is extremely anxious. Yes, the teeth have to be dealt with. So what do they recommend?

    This sort of thing has to crop up from time to time. There are many people who have dental problems as well as extreme anxiety problems. I'm terrible with dentists - I have really bad phobias over them, it takes a lot of willpower to get me to a dentist and I'm a basket-case. I was badly traumatised as a kid by a dentist I had to see every week, for several years, who was a bad dentist as well as someone who I suspect was using my mouth to maintain his business. I've had a dentist since, who used my previous dental work as an example to his students on what bad dentistry looks like. So dentists would have to know how to handle it.

    Also on wisdom teeth - difficult child 1 had all four wisdom teeth removed at one sitting, under local. It was a heroic effort. But bad as the extraction was, his recovery was awful. As the local wore off, the pain set in. He even found it painful to swallow his saliva, he was miserable, in pain, didn't know where to put himself and his anxiety went through the roof. With hindsight, I'd be planning to get some degree of calming medication on board before, and for a few days after. Talk to the dentist about that and perhaps discuss this with your daughter's doctor as well.

    It does get better. Especially if your child is bright and otherwise capable, she will improve as she gets older and hopefully will move out of home at some point - at which time you can breathe a big sigh of relief.

    Not long now.