email I sent to my difficult child...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ksm, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    It seems like we can't even have a talk without things getting out of hand. Last night was difficult and so was this morning. If I say anything at all I get "I don't want to hear your LECTURES" So I emailed her. It may be a day or two before she reads it... but here is what I wrote. I hope it helps. It may be our only way to communicate. KSM

    It is so seems like everything I say or do upsets you. We truly don't know how to diffuse the situation. If we keep talking, things get worse, if we don't respond, things get worse. I don't like the way things are now. I truly feel that we let you get away with poor behaviors and bad attitudes just so you don't have a melt down. We are not treating you with the same standards we expect from other people in the house. And that is not fair to you. I believe you are capable of so much more.

    I know you want to be treated as a young adult, but you are not responding in appropriate ways. I feel that if we allow that to continue, we are not giving you the chance to grow and mature in to the adult you would be proud of. The person you are meant to be. A person with a future, friends, goals, a purpose in life. I don't want to be the one who limits you to the possibilities that are out there. You can do so many things with your life! I know that you think life is "right here, right now" But the majority of your life will be when you are out of school, having a career, raising a family. And decisions you make as a teenager might make it hard to have the wonderful life you deserve.

    At church on Sunday, Suzanne talked about the clay pot. It's purpose is to be "filled" with things. But if the clay pot was not open, it was "full of itself" and could not receive the good things God wants to fill it with. It seems like you are full of anger and fear, and even though you dump those things out on the people around you, you fill back up with the same anger. I wish you could leave room for some happiness, kindness and love to grow there instead. All I want is for you to be happy and I don't know how to make that happen.

    If you think that being happy is having your way all the time, and getting all the things you want, you will never find true happiness. Many people that have all they want are never fulfilled. It doesn't come from things. It is about having people you care about, doing things that help make the world a better place, even in a small insignificant way. Things you can be proud of.

    Please don't let the disappointments of the past dictate that you have to keep filling yourself up with the same things. Let go. You deserved better as a young child. It wasn't right that you had so many losses. I understand that. But neither one of us can change the past. We can only try to change today so that all the tomorrows will be better. I hope you can get past the "lecture" and see that we truly want things to be better. Grandma

    Reply to: Reply to Mary
    Reply to Mary

  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    very heartfelt ksm. It would have an affect on me, but I am not a difficult child. I pray that even if it plants a seed, that will be a good benefit. I hope she does not twist or change your words to support her negative views. I realize that is asking a lot of a person who may just have a brain that is wired to think that way, but I pray she hears he love and hope you are sharing and wishing for her.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    This is a very honest and heartfelt email. I hope I am wrong but... I think the things you say in it cannot be heard by an angry, hurting 13 year old. In 10, 20 years time, yes, but now I think she would not be able to step outside herself to that extent. Which makes things very difficult for you. Although you are "right" about the letting go, one cannot let go until one's grief, anger, whatever it is has been really heard and in some sense worked through. Does your difficult child see a therapist? Just sharing my honest opinion and I hope it does not offend. It would be interesting to know her response...
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    She is seeing a therapist - they have an appointment next week. Was supposed to be week of THanksgiving, but therapist said she would call with another time, but she never did - so had to wait a month since last appointment.

    I just can't seem to give her what she needs. difficult child probably doesn't even know what she needs. But it isn't fair to everyone else in this house that has to live with all the drama. I know life isn't fair. It just hurts. Some times I feel like I shouldn't even try any more. Other times, I feel like I can never give up. But at what point do you come to terms with what it is, and what it can never be?

    I am trying to get further testing thru the neuropsychologist - and insurance is dragging their feet. I am waiting for the school psychiatric to call back to schedule IQ and academic achievement testing. I am waiting for teachers to respond to my emails. I am waiting for the school counselor to return my call about difficult child being in ISS yesterday. I guess difficult child didn't like the substitute teacher and when he told the class that he would send kids to ISS if they disrupted the class, she raised her hand and asked to go there to save everyone time. I am sick of trying and waiting and feeling that no one cares while she drifts further away.

    I'll update if she gives me a response. I have only tried email once before - and I got a hug. Crossing my fingers. KSM
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    been there done that.

    Next time, try a paper note, rather than email.
    Yes, most kids are really into email, and officially "prefer" it, but... psychologically, paper messages are more positive than emails.
    Look for ways to drop LITTLE notes into her life - 5 sentences max. A note on her pillow, a sticky on the mirror...
    Even TTs enjoy this.
  6. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    You are right. I can try to do this. Then I think, well if I do it for difficult child, then I need to do it for little sis too. She is really getting the short end of the stick lately. She (and I) both try to not escalate things. But if it is hard for me, I can imagine how hard it is for an 11 year old. When we refuse to get drawn in to all the drama... that really upsets difficult child more than yelling back at her. I hate this vicious cycle. KSM
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Yes, you do the paper note thing for little sis, too... I mean, you can even tuck one into husband's lunch box or stick a note on his mirror where he'll see it shaving in the morning...

    That's the neat thing about "little love notes"... they work for anybody who can read!
  8. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    The only problem with this is that if difficult child learns or sees that little sis got a note, it will immediately negate any positive feelings she had when she got a note. If any body else gets a note, it is no longer special for difficult child. She wants something that is over and above what any body else gets. It is so hard to explain how difficult this makes our lives.

    In 4th grade she made a ceramic sunflower in art class that year. Two years later, little sis makes a similar sunflower. The teacher uses the same instructions, glazes, etc. When I put the 2nd sunflower on the kitchen shelf, difficult child whines "why does she get to make the same thing I did?" She is so insecure. She wants/needs all the attention. It is not enough to do something first, she wants to be the only one to do it. Ever.

    This week I have been freecycling unwanted household things. That upset her too. It wasn't even her stuff. It was a rusty old patio table and chairs, a cat play house the cats won't use. I had got it from freecycle 6 months ago. A box of old tubes of gift wrap paper I won't be using and misc bows that don't match any paper I kept. When we give things away, or even give an offering to the church, she is upset that it isn't spent on her. We should sell things, we shouldn't donate to church, etc. She is not lacking in clothes, shoes, coats, etc. It is just so hard to even discribe how selfish and self centered she is. I know most teens are. But the other day, she saw on facebook where her cousin wrote "Yay! I got an Ipod!" She immediately tells me that her other grandparents bought cousin an Ipod but won't buy her one. I know for a fact that cousin bought it with money she made making and selling jewelry at craft fairs. But you can't convince difficult child of that. The only thing that matters is that SHE doesn't have one.

    OK, I keep venting and having a hard time with this exercise. I can agree to try to do some special things for her - but I can't promise not to do it for anyone else, or ask them to keep it a secret for her. Geesh. I can't win. KSM
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Use a different note-paper for each person... and make difficult child's a little bit bigger, or scented, or something. Stress "different"... something appropriate for each person. difficult child can also get MORE notes... and if you tell easy child privately, most PCs are fine with understanding that these things get handed out according to need, not by counting... so difficult child might get more "notes" but the love behind is the same, and easy child will get the ones she needs (like after a bad day at school or at home, or a particularly bright spot...).

    Fair isn't always equal. PCs get that. difficult children don't. Its tougher if you're dealing with two full-blown difficult children, neither of whcih get it...
  10. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Yes, I am blessed that so far I have a very understanding eleven year old. She is going to get her own bedroom when DFES leaves. Not because difficult child deserves a room to herself, but that easy child deserves one for putting up with more than most people ever would. Of course, difficult child will think, "Finally, I got my own room" Just sad because it won't be because she is maturing and deserves it too. It will be because no one can put up with her. We will have to leave her upstairs in the bedroom next to us so we can hear her if she tries to sneak out. easy child will be moved to the main floor bedroom as she is more trustworthy and won't get up and get on computer during the night or watch movies she shouldn't be watching.

    Last night difficult child yelled and cried because easy child was in bed and wouldn't get up and turn off the overhead light. The light switch in on the wall, that difficult child's bed is up against. It is literally inches away when she raises her arm. She carried on for 30 minutes because she always has to turn off the light. But, it wasn't fair, because she "always" has to turn off the light at night. She even made a contract a few days ago and had easy child sign, that if her bed was ever on that wall, she would have to turn off the light.

    And she carries on every morning if easy child turns on the over head lightto get ready for school because it "hurts my eyes in the morning".

    It is over and above normal sibling rivalry. I just wish the therapist can get thru to her and help things change for the better. KSM
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmmmm. I was a major difficult child. I have no idea how yours will take it. I probably would have seen it as more criticism and when I was told I could have a great life, I probably would have thought, "Oh, yeah, right...haha." I was very distant from adults at t hat time in my life and overly sensitive to criticism and I thought EVERYTHING was criticism. The only thing that would have reached me would have been a letter about how much I was loved because I didn't think anyone loved me. THAT would have made me feel guilty and maybe even prompt a hug from me because I felt so totally useless.

    But your difficult child is not me. Time will tell if this was helpful. Teenagers are very complicated and difficult and often even typical teen are self-centered.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ksm - side note... the switch in bedrooms might have more benefit than you would expect... at 13, difficult child will be wanting privacy. Esp. from a "snoopy little sis" (even if she isn't...). Doesn't hurt easy child either.