Do your Difficult Child's do this?


Well-Known Member
Yesterday, I got a call from my ex-husband that his sister, who has cancer, had taken a turn for the worse, in the hospital and being moved to hospice. He wanted me to let our son know. I have been divorced for almost 40 years... I was not close to my xsil. Our DGDs would not have recognized her. When I pick up Difficult Child at school, she was bringing a friend home after school. I mention that this person was being moved to hospice later in the afternoon. She wanted me to drive her and her friend to the hospital. I told her that DCs dad, and his dad had just got here, and she could see if they would take her over once she was settled in hospice. But to give them some time together. My son has not seen his dad for 2 or 3 years, as his dad had been living in a different state.

Well, by the time I checked for msgs on my computer, I find out she had passed, about the time I was picking up Difficult Child from school! Difficult Child and her friend was up stairs dyeing their hair red (another post!) and she saw on her FB that this person had died. OMG! You would have thought she knew this person!!

One of the reasons I didn't want to rush her to the hospital is that she and her two "kind of cousins" don't even get along or is civil to each other. Her cousins is the deceased woman's granddaughters. Then Difficult Child is furious with me, and posts on FB a "RIP Great Aunt Becky. I never got a chance to visit you these last few years. Just know I love and miss you... Etc". Then I got a lecture that I am to tell Difficult Child what is going on with HER family as soon as I hear it... Because she could have left school at 1pm and been there before she passed at 3pm.

She has pulled this behavior in the past, taking a death of a classmate as if they were best friends, but her little sis said that they never hung out with this person. I gave in and drove her to the hospital that was 60 miles away... I saw her lying outside the ICU door, on the floor, sobbing in he hall way, with his family trying to comfort her! He died, and she even had his mom give her a lock of his hair.

The reason I didn't have a relationship with my xsil, is that she was an alcoholic and drug user. Her own dtr wouldn't let her own kids spend time at her home, or be in a car with her. I mean, I am sorry for her families loss, but it isn't my loss. My Difficult Child doesn't even know what this woman looks like, and doesn't remember meeting her.

Am I just cold and unfeeling? Or is this part of her mental disorder? KSM

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Am I just cold and unfeeling? Or is this part of her mental disorder? KSM
KSM, you are not cold and unfeeling, just realistic and mature.

Your girls reaction, I do not think it is even part of her mental disorder.

Teens are different animals, over reactive and unexplainable at times. DRAMATIC. I have coached this age group for almost 20 years. They are a hard bunch to figure out. Once in a while, you will come across an old soul, mature, even keeled teen.
Teens in general, especially girls, are very high strung and emotional.

Plus there is a full moon coming.
Some people get extra touchy around full moons.
Hang in there sister!


Well-Known Member

I don't agree that this reaction is anywhere near normal teen behavior.

Judging from what happened at the school-mates deathbed, I think having Difficult Child there would have made things more difficult for everyone there who has a real connection to the deceased.

Don't be hard on yourself. You did nothing wrong. You had no idea when she was going to pass.

I think this is just more controlling behavior by Difficult Child.


I Am The Walrus
This sounds like attention seeking behavior to me. Using other people's tragedies to get attention for herself. Had this woman not been dying, would she have reached out to her? Called her? Asked to meet/visit/get to know her? No. But now she can use this woman's death to fan the social media flames of "poor ME, look what happened to ME, feel sorry for ME."

Did she want to go be with the rest of her family who was mourning this woman's passing? Share in their grief? See how they were doing? I am betting not. That would be an inconvenience...unless it would get her out of school or get more attention for herself, or both.

From my understanding, this is a GD, correct? Which means parents aren't in or are limited in her life? She may have a sense of abandonment, and children who feel abandoned often engage in attention-seeking behaviors to fill the void of where the attention from missing parents should be. Add the hormones, immaturity, and typical dramatics of teenagers and they can have some major over-reactions if it will point attention back to themselves. Does she often seem to over-react to get attention?

Just some thoughts...I wouldn't let it make me question myself.


Well-Known Member
She has never asked or even talked about this person before. I had to explain, who she was.... As in... Your dad's grandparents daughter... DGD (Difficult Child) has made it clear to her two cousins that she is not related to them, because her dad is just her stepdad, not her bio dad.

I do believe it was an attention seeking device. Last summer, when the classmate died from a car accident, after being at the hospital she called every one she knew and had to tell them all the details, the tubes, catheters, IVs, etc. Then call the next person and tell them all the same stuff, and how she had to help hold up his mom, as she could hardly walk, etc. His friends organized a get together, of friends who had hung out the night before the accident, and I noticed she had posted she would be there... But a couple of his friends posted back along, sorry,you weren't there with us, and this is jor the kids who were. So she organized her own candlelight vigil and put it on FB...




Well-Known Member
In smaller scale it would be common immature/teen (girl) behaviour. I have seen that in my sons' friends, when someone they have vaguely known has died (especially if that person has been young.) I mean, it is of course shocking, when you hear your school mate has committed suicide or gotten killed in accident, but if you have never even said 'hi' to that person, or maybe just that, because you were in same math class two years earlier, it doesn't count as personal tragedy, but nowadays many kids seem to act like it counts.

Part of course is very normal. We empathize and live our own, difficult to define, feelings through things that happen to others or even fictional happenings. But some people are extremely over dramatic about it. For most teens it is a phase and they learn to regulate their feelings better and while still empathize, and sometimes even feel strong emotions triggered by things happening to distant people or for example in the tv show or book, they are able to recognize, when it is not about them.

It seems your daughter has more difficulties regulating her feelings and less understanding of boundaries than would be typical in her age. And that is about her illness. She may be attention seeking, but she may not recognize it, or she may simply be so overwhelmed by her feelings she does not recognize that her sadness is not about passing of this person she barely knew, and more about something else. Remember, she has very good reasons to have strong feelings over loss of family members.

I have been known to be extremely over emotion over fictional character in the book, when it triggered a real, huge feeling in me. Because however I'm reasonable mature, self aware and more than little image concious, so I only shared those overwhelming feelings with a dog. I doubt your granddaughter is any of those things, really, and that may be why she doesn't understand boundaries and regulating her emotional expression in public.


Well-Known Member
but if you have never even said 'hi' to that person, or maybe just that, because you were in same math class two years earlier, it doesn't count as personal tragedy, but nowadays many kids seem to act like it counts.
It can also be because many young people have a problem with facing death - any death, and more so if it is someone young. They don't want to face their own mortality, which is part of the strong reaction to it. Difficult kids may also be afraid that if it was them, nobody would even care, so they want to make a statement about caring when anybody dies.

Teenagers. Complex people at the best of times, and that's before we add challenges!

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
At sons highschool if a student passes, counsellors are tripled and made available to all students, friends or not.
This is done in recognition of how teens may react to the tragedy.
The new studies on teen aged brain development shed a huge light on why teens act and react the way they do. I am not saying it is normal teen behavior, just that some teens can be quite overreacting and dramatic about situations they are not even connected to.
This is because their brains are still developing. What may seem like an inappropriate response, is really their brain not firing together.
Sheesh, like we needed more excuses for the teen " crazy" moods.
But, it is good to understand the physiological reasoning behind the dramatic response.

Then, we are better equipped to deal with it.

Add other issues on top of it all.....Ksm , you are a super hero!