difficult child....nature...nurture?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by AmericanGirl, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Cannot sleep. Been lying here thinking of difficult child over the years. Wondering how much of his 'quirks' are nature versus nuture.

    I see patterns of exteme selfishness starting about 7th grade. Coupled with a lack of effort and goals...low self-esteem....trouble finding and keeping steady friends...critical of most people. How much of that was present from birth?

    I say that because I am starting to see some parallels between difficult child and my ex. difficult child was diagnosed adhd at 3 years. difficult child had colic. Screamed for the first nine months of life. Refused any and all pacifiers. Would only nurse. We tried everything. The day care tried. Nothing worked.

    In short....a difficult child. People tell me all the time what a good mother I am. Sure, I have done a lot wrong but not because I didn't try..or care...or love him. But I have been there for him and am appalled to be here now.

    Guess I feel like maybe none of it really mattered....at least to difficult child.

    Gonna be a long week. I have scans (cancer survivor) and difficult child has court for dui. Surrounding all that with Al-anon, time with good friends and prayers.

    Thanks for your willingness to share your stories. Been reading a lot of the old posts and learning.
  2. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I'm so tired I forgot this. Took difficult child to the huge teaching hospital to the shrink. difficult child didn't show any psychosis during the evaluation. However doctor believes bipolar may be possible.

    Prescribed respurdol (sp). Told difficult child it was to help him sleep which he had complained about. To return in an week. Even gave difficult child cell phone number to call if he needed. Wow...

    difficult child got paranoid cause doctor talked to me alone. Refused everything. Threw a fit on way home.

    Hoping DUI classes which will be ordered by judge will help. difficult child's old therapist knows man running them. I feel certain therapist will share info after I update with shrink's recommendation. They are in same facility so it wouldn't be breaking hippa. My goal is to get difficult child assigned to the dual diagnosis dui classes. These are longer which may offer him extra help.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Nature vs nurture...

    Well. If "nurture" includes the things that happen at school, then... I'd have to say its "BOTH".

    Our difficult child had some things from the start - things that showed up before or by kindergarten... motor skills issues, impulsivity, difficulties with focus, etc. We expected some of this - ADHD runs strongly in the family, motor skills issues are around in the genes too. (part of the "nature" argument).

    But... it took 10 years to get all the dxes... at which point we started to get the right interventions, accommodations and medications (we were partly right on medications...)... and in the mean time: school drove him to insanity, which actually never got a diagnosis, but earlier dxes due to school included anxiety, and depression. THESE were definitely not a part of the kid we started with.

    We started with a challenging kid - but not one that I would have called a difficult child.
    We ended up with a full-blown difficult child.
    It wasn't parenting that was the problem (though, truth be known, if we had known then what we know now, we would have made changes to our parenting approach as well). It was SCHOOL., Plus the failure of the medical community to deliver appropriate dxes in a timely manner, that created the difficult child.
  4. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Alabamagirl,

    You ask an intersting question that opened up discussion between Mr LMS and Myself at 5am this morning, lol.

    Mr LMS, who is a VERY smart man by the way, thinks it is all of the above...
    He said he thinks the equation looks like this:

    Nature + Nurture + My choices = My life

    He said that he can certainly see a "Genetic Bend" in our difficult child's and they were not raised in a sub- abusing Environment and they have made Choices.

    He said maybe from birth to say age 8 or 9 they are heavily influenced by BOTH nature and nurture...However, at the point they start making choices on their own and have to take responsibility for themselves...become culpable, They become willing participants in the evolution of their lives...where they end up.

    What I find intersting...Is the characteristics that we saw in our own difficult child's when they were little.
    Our easy child did NOT display any true "standout" characteristics as a child other than that she was morbidly stage frightend...but other than that I don't remember her having any overly unique obvious "quirks" if you will. Now, my easy child, has evolved into a Standout person. She is no longer afraid to take center stage and has become a shining Star in our family.
    But...Both the difficult child's showed "heavy" genetic influence (that I can see from this vantage point) when they were little...
    Oldest difficult child: Aggressive, A Leader, Stubborn, A Risk Taker (that "risk-taking" part we saw was Addiction in my opinion) extrovert.
    Young difficult child: Very Creative, Sensitive to Noise, Obsessive, Anxious, "oblivious" Stubborn, a Risk Taker, Introvert

    We now have 2 beautiful grandchildren that we are actively involved with.
    We see "genetic" characteristics evolving particularly in our 2 yr old granddaughter.
    She is Aggressive, Stubborn and a Risk Taker.
    We are concerned.
    But as is stated above...At some point our Own Choices, that we are fully responsible for (especially at age 18 when parents "choices for us" are no longer the rule) CAN supercede any Genetic Bend.

    Now, husband and I, Both agree that it can be a difficult struggle to overcome genetic "bends" "tendencies" etc. But, It CAN BE DONE.

    Honestly, with all the Rehab, AA, Hospitalisations, Counceling, medication therapy, Jail, Church, School, Home, sports, special classes for talents, etc...Environmental Influences that husband and I gave BOTH of our difficult child's...Our difficult child's Have -NO EXCUSE-!
    They are BOTH fully aware of our Genetics including Mental Illness as well as Addiction.

    As the saying goes...
    "Where this is Knowledge there is Power" and husband and I Both believe this to be absolutely true for our difficult child's lives.

    I hope this helps.
    It certainly opened up a lively discussion for husband and I early this morning and Honestly helped me feel better considering our Young difficult child is facing a Prison Sentence (to be delivered on Wednesday).
    I am reminded that Young difficult child bears responsibility in all of this.
    Thank you Alabamagirl for gettin me to "think" and not just "feel" because the Mommy heart of me is absolutely broken...but the "logic" side in discussing this with husband has really eased some of that pain this morning.

  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have discussed this many times on the board. Many of us have both a difficult child and a easy child. Mine were raised in the same two parent family, went to church regularly, went to excellent schools, and were raised with the same rules. Both were total easy child's until the 8th grade. easy child stayed a easy child and difficult child turned into a difficult child.

    Why? I believe it is nature. husband's husband was bipolar and an alcoholic. I think my difficult child was the unlucky one when it came to the gene pool lottery.

    What else could explain it?
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I think nature is what makes the casual experimentation (so typical of adolescents) take hold and turn into addiction.

    I think nurture or lack thereof can be the biggest contributor to successful recovery when and if the difficult child seeks it. I tried so hard to be the keeper of the flame-to keep the easy child alive inside the difficult child-and I know we all do. I've seen so many of my board sisters fight like heck to get kids graduated, keep their licenses etc, get court ordered treatment, etc. and that's where I think nurture takes hold & makes a difference.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig something you said just really struck me: I've seen so many of my board sisters fight like heck to get kids graduated, keep their licenses etc, get court ordered treatment, etc. and that's where I think nurture takes hold & makes a difference.

    difficult child has often told me and everyone else that the only reason she has her license is because we took her car away for two years. I am so positive that if we had not done that she would either be dead or in jail for a very long time. She is now the one who drives everyone else to their AA meetings because none of them have it.

    In our situation it is clearly nature that gave difficult child the genetic makeup to become an addict. She was an addict in waiting from very early on. Many parents identify behaviors in their children at an early age that leads to addiction in the adolescent and young adult years.The interesting thing to me is that if the person goes into recovery and works the program, many of those issues go away and the person truly recoverys from everything.

    difficult child inherited the addiction gene form her birthmother and extended family. The interesting thing is that she went down the exact same path as her bm and did the same things and acted the same way as if she was raised by her. It is striking ghow similar they are. Nothing that we did or could have done would have changed that outcome. But I do believe thankfully we were able to protect part of her future for her until she went into recovery and was able to do that for herself.