feeling guilty and like a bad mom

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by karen1316, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    i have a 13 year old daughter who since the age of 3 (she was sexually abused by her real dad who went to jail and lost his parental rights) has had problems every since with mental health issues. She has had every service you could ever think of and loving parents and family that have run out of ideas and are just plain sad,mad,scared,hurt,frustrated,feel hopeless,ect. We have thought for years as she was getting help that it was helping until the next thing came up. As I am sitting here typing this she is at a shelter. Her case manager and pychiatrist would like me to place her in residental treatment for her to get the help she needs since she can't seem to be able to funtion at school or home anymore. I feel like someone ripped out half my heart and took it away and it will never be returned to me until she gets better. I know that I never will get better unless she does. I guess my question to all of you is how to let them take and place her and be able to ever forgive myself as I'm the one who has to decide.There is soooo much to the story but I would have to write a book to try to give you the whole picture.I came on this site because I feel so damn lonely in feeling like I'm the only one that has this problem or feelings. I really hope to hear from you as you just might be a part of saving my mind.
  2. seriously

    seriously New Member

    Karen -

    Welcome, welcome. I am so sorry to hear your story. It sounds like you have worked very hard for 10 years to help her. You have hung in there - not everyone would have you know.

    Are they asking you to surrender your parental rights? Or just agree to a residential treatment or therapeutic foster home placement?

    Many other parents on this board will come along to share their experiences with you. Our oldest son was placed in short term foster care and then in a longer term therapeutic foster care home with an SED school placement. For us, it was a very positive experience. It may be life-saving for your daughter and the best thing you have ever done for her but there's never a guarantee.

    Can you share a little more about your daughter - what has she been diagnosed with? Is the psychiatrist (psychiatrist) recommending a specific course of treatment like DBT? Are they saying where she'd be placed and do they have any idea how long she might be there (a lot of residential treatment programs have a minimum stay)? A brief sketch of the current problems she's having?

    I can't tell you it will all turn out right. I can tell you that many other parents have walked the road you're on - even though it may seem that you are all alone. Residential treatment may be the only or best way to help your daughter right now. Most of the time these days residential treatment is only recommended because there is really no way to provide the intensive level of treatment, structure and safety in the home that the child needs.

    Ask any questions you have, share your grief, tell us your story - we are listening and we care.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    I'm having trouble understanding where the problem is coming from, which makes it harder to give any of my .02, but welcome to the board. You are NOT alone. When my two youngest kids (both adopted, so that you don't think I dislike adopted kids) were very young, we adopted an eleven year old boy who sexually abused them for several years. We had no idea (talk about feeling guilty) and he scared them into keeping quiet. All the while, he acted like a great kid to all adults. Once he was caught, he was gone and we have never spoken to him again. The kids did get help, but both are doing well emotionally, which leads me to ask...

    Is this all about the sexual abuse or are there other issues that may be playing into this? Obviously biological dad is somewhat abnormal (to put it mildly). Does he have any psychiatric diagnosis? Are there any psychiatric diagnoses on either side of your daughter's family tree? What kind of help has she received so far? Have you taken her to a neuropsychologist as well as therapists? Any medication? Also, what kind of behaviors have you worried?

    Stay with us. Others will come along. Weekends can be slow.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) for both you and your daughter.

    Just wanted to say Hi and Welcome. You found a great place for support and guidance.

    I have no personal experience with your type of situation but have read similar stories on these boards. Yes, weekends can be slow, but others who relate will come along. In the meantime, read some of their stories, and post more of your own.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I'm adding my hugs and welcome, too. I'm confused - I can't tell whether you adopted her or she is your biological daughter. I can say this either way though, the love doesn't change no matter what.

    My stepdaughter Onyxx went through something like, only later in her life. I can say from mine & my husband's perspective, we have tried and tried and tried, and we are still trying for an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) thinking they are trained to help her where we aren't... We're "only" parents, after all.

    More hugs... I don't have the answers, but I know how it feels to have your heart ripped out over and over...
  6. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    thanks for replying I dont know where to start but here goes yes both her bio dad and I have mental health issues and I'm not saying that because she was abused that this is all where it stemed from but it is where all her problems started as she was early at all stages of devolpment prior. her bio dad never was treated for what I believe to be some form of mental ilness as he was abusive both mentally and pyhically to me. I have mental health issues with severe depression and even more severe anxiety. prior to her abuse i was a very differant person and my mental health has been downhill since i have had to deal with her stuff so much that i sometimes don't get to mine as often as i should.she is on celexa ans abilify and has had every test known to man. she also may have ADD and she has social problems.she will not listen at home or school she has been suspended for 2 days this last week and 1 day each the 2 weeks prior as her refusal to listen is getting her into trouble. she calls people whores and has spit on them at school and within the past 3 months has been involved in 3 fights at home she tells us to shut up and not talk to her when shes told no or we try to ground her she will cry,scream, beg and try to plead until you get to the point of wanting to smack her which is part of the reason she's at a shelter until tuesday night then back home until we decide what to do next.when i spoke to her on the phone i asked her if she thought she wants to change and she said i don't know and i was shocked because i stupidly thought that maybe this would wake her up but i guess not as she said she was having fun and i feel so sick to my stomach because sadly that is not a normal response or the one i expected but i still can't help myself from believing all this i am so so sad because i am very afraid she will never get better there is such a great,loving,and funny child in there somewhere and i want her back. also i have 8 year old twins who show no sign of any mental health issues but were in counseling for a while after my daughter tried to abuse them i called child protection twice and they told her that the next time they got a call they were going to lock her up that was 3 years ago now but my kids had therapy and they are doing good and me and my fiance my daughters stepdad are concerned that we can't parent our twins like we should with there sister being so out of control.even with all this i still feel so sad and hurt and like a bad mom that i will probly have to send her away
  7. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    i don't know how to reply to all of you at the same time but i did hit the reply on the first one and when i go back to the first post its there if this is making any sense. i wanted all of you to see what i put so i don't have to keep redoing it but i'm not so good with computers as you can see if you can tell me how to reply so i can respond back to all of you i would really be grateful
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    First off, we can all see your replies. You're doing fine.

    I don't have any experience with this sort of problem, but I did want to just pop in and say hi and welcome. I'm sorry cirumstances brought you here, but we're in this together... Timer lady shares a similar story, I imagine she will check in.

  9. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    oh thank you! i didn't want anyone to think i wasn't replying back to them.thank you all for welcoming me.do you know how i can find postings from timer lady?
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If you type in Timer Lady on the search field above the thread list, it should bring back posts from her. From there, you'll just have to read and look. Her situation is not quite the same, but there are similarities.
  11. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    thanks shari
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, first off, you are NOT a bad mother, you are a good mother with a very difficult child who probably would have been difficult regardless of the abuse. That just made things worse, but YOU didn't do it. Her father did. You've only tried to pick up the pieces and get her help. Your twins are proof that you are a good mother and that hereditary and what her own father did to her combined to make your daughter very "different." I also think you should read timer lady's posts. She has good perspective of parenting from different addresses. It does not mean you are giving up, but you have two little ones to protect. She is not safe to have around them if she has abused them or tried to abuse them.

    To be a good parent though, you need to treat your own mental health problems as well. I speak as one who also has experience with deep, deep depression and sometimes irrational or over-the-top anxiety. When I used to get into either mode, I wasn't helpful to anybody.

    You have done as much or more than any mother could do given the circumstances. The rest has to come from her with your support. I don't know much about RTCs, but I do know that your fiance, your twins, and you deserve time to heal and at the same time I assume your oldest would be getting help or at least custodial care in a safe environment. Check out the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before you send her.

    By the way, I am your neighbor in Wisconsin :) I am about five hours from Minneapolis. It's nice to meet you. Now breathe...you didn't hurt your child EVER. You only loved her.

    These decisions are heartwrenching to all of us, but we are behind you 100% :)
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This statement is not a discouragement for your situation... rather, an explanation of why you have to push for more... Its currently estimated that 40% of the prison population has undiagnosed learning disabilities and/or hidden disabilities, for which they received no or inadequate support. These are ON TOP OF whatever diagnosis they actually do have. Whatever options are available to you, she needs to be screened for issues not caught yet... The first diagnosis isn't necessarily the best one or the most complete one - and frequently, "one" just doesn't do it. They may have to peel this back in layers - deal with some of the emotional stuff first - but it needs to be done.

    Specifically ask about: auditory processing problems, reading/writing difficulties, and executive functions (part of adhd) - this last one, in particular, you may have to push for... its well documented in the boys, but girls with adhd are often expected to be the "inattentive" type with-o these other issues - but girls have these issues too!

    Auditory processing is not a hearing problem (should screen for that too, though - hearing issues alone would be a major problem) - but difficulty with understanding language, or speed of processing language, or ability to focus on a particular sound (teacher's voice) in spite of background noise, etc. Any of these will cause huge issues in trying to perform to expectations at school - and will cause immense mental fatigue. And mental fatigue is one HUGE behavior trigger.

    Our situation is a little different... but I know what its like to run on 3-4 hours of sleep every night for months on end - to be jumpy over every little detail, to be falling apart getting groceries because our favorite coffee is out of stock... Its a really fine line, because the difficult child takes 100% of resources available and it isn't enough - but you really DO need to find ways to look after yourself. Its a hard lesson to learn, difficult to practice, and even harder to maintain. But you have to - over and over and over. Find ways to peel back just a little bit of a window, to get some of the pieces you need for yourself - so YOU can deal with the situation better. Its in HER best interests - as well as everyone else's interest.
  14. karen1316

    karen1316 New Member

    thanks again everyone for getting back to me.i feel better when i come on here and see that i'm supported by you all.you have no idea how much this really helps.please stay in touch.
  15. FeatherAhead

    FeatherAhead New Member

    wow..many hugs! You are a STRONG MOTHER that has only done the best she could do..thats all any of us can do. Mom knows best-ALWAYS when it comes to their kids I agree with the others that YOU are important! YOU need to help yourself before you can help anyone else. As long as you aren't signing over your rights, I think that in patient therapy is what she may need based on what you have explained. To ease your mind, study up on the facility(s). See if they have a visitation schedule. This may get her the help she needs and give you the break to concentrate on YOU. Your other children and fiance need you too and they need for your oldest to get the help she needs and deserves. .

    I can't pretend to know what you are going through as I have never had to walk in your shoes. My own path tells a different story but all of us on here end up in the same place. Looking for a shoulder to lean on and to be reminded that we matter and our kids sometimes need a lil more and thats ok.

    One day at a time hun. Breathe. When you wake in the morning, look in the mirror and tell yourself OUTLOUD.."I do matter" "I am doing my very best for my children(even if that means you getting her the inpatient help)"
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi and welcome.

    You say you are concerned that you are a bad mother; as if handing her over to someone else to help, is a failure. it is not a failure, it is an acknowledgement that she needs really serious professional help. Being able to recognise this and utilise it is the sign of a caring, loving, involved parent. If your child develops a twisted bowel and is seriously, dangerously ill, you don't dose her with Epsom salts. You take her to the hospital where they will admit her for emergency surgery. You hand her over to people who have the training to diagnose and treat at the acute level. Then when they feel she is well enough to leave, they work with you to transition her back, to help you tend to her needs. It is unthinkable to call such a parent, a bad parent.

    Ask yourself this - if you do not use all opportunities open to you to help her, and she doesn't turn out well, will you also blame yourself? Should you? Now look at what you are trying to do - it is true, it may not make it all better. I don't think anything can make it all better. But all you can do is make it the best you can, out of a bad situation that was not of your making.

    A perfect outcome is something few of us ever have and certainly cannot arrange to order. The best we can do is the best we can hope for. Don't look back and regret; look forward with hope and determination.