End of my rope!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Lily, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Lily

    Lily New Member

    Hi all. I am new to this but need guidance and support in the worst way. My 16 year old (17 in October) is increasingly out-of-control and defiant. She was always a strong-willed child and suffered some depression in her early teen years, but now she is thinks she knows it all and can do whatever she wants and defies her father and I constantly.We are divorced but luckily get along great, and are trying to navigate this together. She used to live with me primarily, but after 2 1/2 years of lying, stealing, sneaking out, taking my prescription medications and alcohol, disrupting school, and lastly, having a party while I was out-of-town and letting kids come who robbed me, she is living primarily with her dad (who lives 10 minutes away). He is seeing what I have been living with and we are both at the end of our rope. This has affected me emotionally and physically (chronic pain) and put a huge strain on my new marriage. We have taken our daughter to therapy in the past when she was depressed, but now that she is defiant, she thinks there is nothing wrong with her and so won't go back to therapy. Her dad and I met with a child psychologist almost two weeks ago who recommended we come up with a list of options if this gets worse...she is going on an organzied trip out of the country for a month this summer and the therapist hopes that may give her some direction; otherwise, she said we need to look into in-patient treatment programs or sending her away to a school for these kinds of kids. Not what I want to do and I am sure incredibly expensive.

    So my bottom line question is: how do you survive this until they hopefully mature out of some of this, and how do we keep her safe in the interim? You can't chain her to her room but every time we let her do something, we are never sure where she is actually going, who she is with or what she is doing. The latest: she came home with her tongue pierced! At 16, she found someone to do this. She won't even let me look at it to see if it might be infected because she says she doesn't need my help!! I need help. Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Have you been to a therapist? You probably need help with boundary issues. It seems she is angry over something - maybe the divorce. I believe she is acting out to punish someone. Is she involved in drugs at all? That would be one way you could do something about putting her in inpatient treatment. I know what you are going through. I would seek therapy for myself in how to handle your defiant teenager.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us.........sorry you had to! Lately it has been fairly quiet on our part of the Board. On weekends it is always quieter than during the week.

    I have raised a bunch of teens (most with issues!) but never have I had the open defiance that you are coping with from your daughter. Alcohol, drugs and sexual issues have been the primary issues in my family. As a result of the substance abuse, we sadly learned about residential treatment programs and subsequently about Department of Juvenile Justice programs. :(

    My advice is to take advantage of the time you have now to research what
    programs are available just in case you need one later. When I was seeking
    a residential program for substance abuse (which spawns poor behavioral choices and poor academic results) I made a big mistake that I always try to help others avoid. I sought programs that were not too expensive. It turned out that after the first private placement we did at a facility that had a good reputation but was no longer good, I called the most expensive
    program I was aware of within driving distance of our home. Guess what?
    That program had a sliding scale and a payment plan. Our teen was able to
    be surrounded by kids who had been raised similarly to our family and it was
    cheaper, as well as better. So get yourself a notebook and make a list of every facility available. Become an expert now. It's in your best interests.

    Feel free to visit us as often as you want. It is wonderful to be able to express your true feelings without any fear of recognition. Hugs. DDD
  4. Lily

    Lily New Member

    Thanks for all the input. I am getting therapy for all this stress and the chronic pain. And I am slowly, with my ex, looking into residential treatment programs and other facilities, per the psychologist. Just can't believe we are at that point. There is still so much good in her..I would say she is still reasonable and pleasant and behaves 60-70% of the time...it is just the other part that is so scary and difficult and stressful. So I guess I am still hoping we can manage this ourselves until she grows up and matures a bit, as I am just panicked at the thought of sending her somewhere and the rejection that must cause, and also what can happen to them when they are at someone's else's mercy (you never really know about any facility).So is this how your kids are...still lots of good but the bad is really bad? Or am I fooling myself and we are already at the point where I need to be considering a treatment facility etc...
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! I am glad you found us, and sorry you needed to find us. I am sorry the situation with your daughter is so out of control and dangerous.

    First off, I think it is wonderful that you and your ex are working together to raise your daughter. So many people are terribly scarred by parents who cannot or will not work with each other. Your daughter is blessed that you and your ex are able to work together for her benefit.

    I don't know a whole lot about residential programs. My son went to a long term psychiatric hospital when he was in 6th grade. It was wonderful even though it was all kids with medicaid. He later had a couple of short stays at an acute care facility that was FAR more expensive and was USELESS except to let us find out his psychiatrist (psychiatrist) liked to look down girl's blouses and was being investigated for it (they asked the kids on the ward about it!)

    Many people who send a child to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (residential treatment center) use an educational consultant to help find the best program for their child. AND to find funding for it. Lots of people either use college funds or get another mortgage on their homes.

    Is she using drugs? Do you know which ones? Usually kids will say it is just pot. Usually this is a downright LIE. In order to really know you need to drug test her. Either with a home kit you get at the drugstore or through the doctor. If you want the doctor to do it (my insurance covers it if that is needed, but not the home kit) then talk to the nurse ahead of time and make an appointment with the lab. Do NOT tell your daughter. NO warnings should be given. Just get her into the car and take her to the doctor or lab or whereever the doctor sends you. Once you get in then ask her to give a sample. If need be, say it is to screen for infection. Or a normal screening prior to a well check.

    Others here will have more help. I hope you are able to find a way to help her and the whole family.

    Again, Welcome!
  6. stepmama

    stepmama stepmama

    Hi, Bon Bon. I'm new, too. My stepson (ADHD/ODD) recently turned 17 and is spiraling down quickly. I have a bit of advice to impart.

    1) Random drug tests are critical, although you have to test within 12 hrs of coke or meth use to catch it. We thought his very erratic, angry behavior was worsening mental health trouble all summer last year. We learned at the end of the summer it was drug use. He was using at his mom's and withdrawing at our house. You can get a full-battery urine test from your school district or drug store.
    2) Consider a wilderness therapy program for the summer. Ours went to one in the fall and had his whole school year disrupted. I wish we had sent him in the summer.
    3) Consider a family therapy session to involve and educate the step-parents. It offers a way for you, Dad and step-parents to present a united front and pick up on new parenting skills. If everyone is coordinated, it's easier to drug test and have consistent consequences at both homes. Also, it might help your daughter feel more comfortable or less confused if she sees Dad cooperating with her new stepdad.

    Good luck!
  7. Don't have any advice for you, as it seems we are in very similar circumstances. (((hugs)))