Fix me, Mom

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Jun 16, 2008.

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  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Back to the same old thing and her responses are always, I can't, I don't want to, It won't work, That's stupid. And then she does the, It's not fair. THAT one makes me cringe. "It's not fair that M has only been in this country - on this continent - for a couple of years and she has tons of friends and I don't have any." Well, Wynter, M wanted friends so she actively pursued it. Friends aren't just going to come knocking on your door. You don't want to join any activities, or group, or clubs or do anything that will get you around people.

    She said therapy doesn't work and even if she goes she'll be mad and annoyed so it won't matter because it won't work.

    She was sobbing last night. I sat down on the floor next to her and held her. She stopped and then she started the "it's not fair" thing and again just dismissing out of hand any suggestions, ideas, etc. I was so frustrated and I walked outside just to get away from her. This had been going on for 2 hours.

    When I came back in, she was in her room crying on her bed. I sat down in her chair and I told her that she needs to give herself some credit. That I've been seeing her trying and making an effort and she's had a much more positive outlook. I told her that I knew how hard it was for her to be at the mall and look at how well she did and she actually (gasp) enjoyed herself. Told her that I know it's scary and it's really hard to step outside of your comfort zone, but that I want her to remember how she enjoyed herself when she did that time. That every success will make it a bit easier.

    I thought I made progress.

    She woke up today in a bad mood cause she overslept past her alarm and now she's annoyed that she's going to have a hard time getting to sleep tonight. Really foul mood all day directed at me.

    Nothing will work. Melatonin doesn't work. Told her to soak in a warm bath. She doesn't like baths. Told her to drink a glass of warm milk. That's gross. Told her to drink a glass of cold milk. What will that do? I don't know, but it's worth a shot. Now, she's not going to want to go to the mall tomorrow because she's going to be too tired, she says. :rolleyes: Nevermind that going to the mall wipes me out for days after and kicks my pain way up, but I'm still willing to do it for her.

    Oh..and was showing her the correct way to do crunches. Told her you have to pull your tummy in, not push it out. She CAN'T do that.

    The constant negativity and the helpless victim wear. me. down. Nothing sets my teeth on edge more.

    And if I detach because I *know* she's going to shoot down everything I offer and say "I'm sorry you feel that way.", or "I'm sure that is very frustrating.", she tells me that I don't care. But if I offer something, it's not good enough. I asked her, then, what do you want me to say. She doesn't know.

    I'm only human. I cannot take this. She hoovers the life right out of me with this stuff. Every time she starts I just want to SCREAM. Instead, I take a lot of deep breaths. Although, I did tell her last night that she had choices. She could do nothing about her situation and come to terms with being miserable or she could decide that she doesn't want to be miserable and do the work it's going to take to make the changes necessary. Of course, then I was accused of wanting her to change which means that I don't like her the way she is.

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, if it were me, I'd step back. I'd go with the platitudes and let the accusations fly. Until she makes an effort to change, things are going to be the way they are. As long as you make the suggestions, she has someone else to blame. You're in an absolute no-win situation.

    She's at an awful age. Everything is magnified, overwhelming. Most girls get through this stage with friends. Wynter is stuck with just you unless she can find a way to force herself to make friends. Being homeschooled doesn't help -- it limits her options to meet girls her age.

    I don't envy you and I'm so very, very glad those years are behind me. They were absolutely miserable. HUGS
  3. change

    change New Member

    Yuck. Middleschoolers. Drama...drama...drama. Even with some of the easy child's!!! (Which mine is not right now.) I would never voluntarily teach middle school. They get on my last nerve. Hang in there. Put your foot down. Let her know that nothing will change her situation unless she makes it so. (That's what I tell mine.) I'm not saying it works but it gets her to not complain because she knows I'm not about to cater to her pity party unless it's a complaint I can help with. If I see her down, I ask her about it. If it's something I can change, I help. If it's the same old stuff and it's in her hands or her doing (like her being a loner, etc.) then I stop her from going further and remind her that only she can change the situation. She usually does one of 2 things: either gets passively mad because she doesn't want to hear the truth or sadly agrees and moves on. I then tell her to quit moping about it and do something to change it for herself.

    I hope tomorrow is better for both of you.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You got every single hug that I have in my artillery.

    I know. Believe me, I know.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't know believe me I don't know. YET.
    but i got a pillow for you to scream into and a hug! I will share my ice cream also... My girls scare me now. I don't think I can do this into the teens.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your child's diagnosis. sound SO much like me at her age (minus speech cluttering). I also have depression, panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). It's not fun, but the depression is/was by far the worst when it wasn't under good control.
    I have a terrible problem with depression (or did until I started it's been fifteen years...knock on wood). I have read so much on it and one interesting thing about it is that cancer patients are more cheerful than those with depression. To me, your daughter sounds extremely depressed, and a clinical depression causes you to see the entire world "all black." You feel no hope and that nothing can ever get better.
    Is it possible she may be clinically depressed? Even kids in wheelchairs or with autism can be amazing heroic and brave and even upbeat, but depression is the Great Emotional Crippler. I remember it well.
    The right medications may be able to change your little one's "everything's bad" view of the world, even with her challenges. It often takes time to find the right antidpressant and, if you are prone to depression, many medications can also make depression worse (often antipsychotics, stimulants or even mood stabliizers can be a culprit). Stims and mood stabilizers made me even more depressed. But it took a trial of about ten antidepressants before one worked really well. Of course, antidepressants are better now and--each one also carries a risk. But your kiddo sounds very depressed to me--seeing the world as a place where nothing can ever get better.
    Don't know if my rambling helped. Hugs to you and your kiddo.
  7. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Heather, you're doing an admirable job. Being supportive and not losing your temper with Wynter counts for something. Maybe not now, but later when she's older.

    I agree with MWM. Wynter sounds very depressed. When my kids play the "I can't, I won't, that's stupid" broken record, I know that nothing I offer will make a difference because they need treatment from a skilled professional. They can't help themselves or access therapy or accept suggestions from me because they're in too deep of a hole.

    I hate to ask, but what's going on with her medications? Is she taking her Lexapro? If not, maybe it does make her feel bad, and you need to try a different medication. We tell our kids that medications are non-negotiable, but we will always listen to what they have to say about how they feel. And that is the approach their psychiatrists have taken with our kids as well.

    Maybe you need to explore more intensive treatment like a day treatment program. We made good progress with our son when he went to day treatment for 6 weeks last winter.
  8. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I can feel your frustration. With my kiddo, I told her how her thinking was bringing her down and she told me she likes to feel sad. Hope summer helps them both.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Understanding hugs being sent your way. You are really are doing a great job remaining so calm.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Heather, I so know that scenario. Here is a bit of advice: there is nothing you can say or do that will make a difference. You can not win here. It will be about 4 years before she will hear you again. LOL!

    Seriously, there could be some depression, but I tend to think it is more hormonal at this age. Don't try so hard to please her, because it will only frustrate her. The most frustrating part is having to watch your child be so unhappy AND not being able to help at all.

    Find a way to not let it upset you now, because this goes on for several years.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm with Busy on this one; there could be some depression going on. However, on the whole I think she's acting like a 13-year old with some difficult child thrown in there. It's a tough age for a girl. For a girl without any close friends, or at least one close friend, to talk with and confide in, it's even more difficult.

    Here's a suggestion. Not sure if it will work, but I'll give it to you anyway. Go out to the bookstore and find a lovely journal (something girlie). If $$ is an issue, buy a spiral notebook and decorate the cover with snapshots or magazine pics, etc. When you find Wynter in a fairly calm mood, tell her you have something to say.

    Tell her that you love her very much. You would take any pain she had and put in on yourself you love her so much. Tell her that being a girl is tough at this age. Life isn't always fair; as a matter of fact, life is never fair, nor is it intended to be so. It's what we make of it that makes it better.

    Tell her you are kinda frustrated because all you hear from her is negativity. It really gets you down, then there are two down folks in the house. So, we are going to try an experiement. I have this journal I bought/made for you. When you are feeling frustrated, or angry, or fed up, or down, get the journal and draw or write instead of speaking about it out loud. It's going to be hard at first to not voice how you feel all the time. But, let's give it a try. It will allow you to think about what is bothering you without me responding, or giving you options, or shooting down your ideas, and maybe you can really focus on what is at the core of the problem rather than responding to me. Every other day or so, with your permission, the two of us will sit down and I will read the journal with you. If there are things we can discuss calmly as mother and daughter, we will address it.

    Let her know it is all part of understanding what she is going through while maintaining calm and peace in the house. Let her know also that it is a way to build a relationship of trust and love between the two of you.

    Give it a try.

  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    wm is both depressed & a continual "victim". The depression is being addressed with medications & therapy; the victimization is being addressed with in home therapy, in day treatment & with Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) workers.

    It's ugly to have your difficult child blame you, the world & God himself for some of the choices being made. And you & I both know the difference between deliberate choices & mental/emotional illness. difficult child will have to learn to accept responsibility for her choices that give her grief & learn to make new choices. You can guide her, give her cues, etc, however you cannot take on her choices. The sooner she learns to stop & think the happier she will be.

    For wm, learning to stop & think, involved a change in medications & lots of behavioral cognitive therapy. by the way, wm has a very long way to go. His last staffing was almost laughable if it wasn't so sad - all the blaming for his lack of insight & progress. He knows - doesn't translate the knowing into "doing" in the community, at group home or out with us.

    I hope today is a better day for you & difficult child.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Heather, Aarrrggggh! I hear you!
    I agree with-Busywend, that nothing you can say will help at this point. I would walk away from some of it. I sense that you can't stand her pain and really want to help her, but it's taking a toll on you. She's already in therapy (right?), so focus on that, and keep her on the medications. Meanwhile, there's no sense being the target if you don't have to.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Heather...I feel your pain. You are handling it so much better than I did. I am not a very "warm and fuzzy" kind of person. I have a very low nonsense tolerance level, and little patience for drama. I'm sure I could have been more supportive of Miss KT, but all I saw was this child who continually messed things up for herself, and I couldn't understand why she continued to do what caused pain and problems for her. It is so incredibly frustrating to watch the self sabotage and not be able to stop it, divert it, or change something somehow. You're doing a great job...many many hugs.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Wow. What a day.

    First, let me back up. I wish I could say this was teenage, hormonal junk, but it's not. She's done this off and on for years. It's just the subject matter that has changed. She has been making progress...or so I thought.

    We went to the mall and were having, I thought, a good time. While we were in the store Icing, we were at the counter waiting to purchase a pair of earrings for Wynter and she tells me that all of a sudden she just feels really sad, depressed. She doesn't know why...said it just came on all of a sudden. She didn't want to talk about it more than that. We walked around some more, left, stopped at DQ for some ice cream and came home.

    I went out to water and she went to take Jewel for a walk. She came back and stormed past me into the house and locked herself in her room.

    All hell broke loose.

    She wouldn't unlock her door. Told me she wasn't going to and I could ground her, she doesn't care. I then yelled and told her, "I am the Mom and you need to open this door right now, little girl!" (It scared me to have her locked in her room and be so angry out of the blue.) She did and she screamed and she yelled and she told me she doesn't care about me...her life is meaningless, she wishes she were dead, her life get the idea.

    It was like being run over by a truck. Just out of nowhere.

    I know she has chronic depression. I had no idea it had become this severe. How could I not know that? I know what depression is and what it looks like. I don't know how I missed this.

    She was so hysterical that I almost called for transport to the ER for an evaluation. The *only* thing that stopped me is that even though she says she wishes she were dead, she is not suicidal and I know they wouldn't admit her. She's already so treatment resistant that if I did that and she wasn't admitted, I'd never get anywhere with her.

    As she finally started to calm down, she did say that she has been thinking about therapy for the last couple of days, but she's still against it. That's really a moot point now, as far as I'm concerned.

    I had looked into day treatment about 18 months ago and had no luck finding anything that would take her. A few weeks ago I literally stumbled across a website for a local agency that sounds perfect. They offer outpatient and partial hospitalization - among other things. It looks like it might be tough to get her into the partial hospital as you have to exhaust a lot of other strategies first, but she fits a lot of the criteria, such as treatment resistant, psychiatric disorder, negative impact at school, etc.

    The only thing I'm concerned about is that they are not in my county. As they are a United Way provider, I don't know how that's going to work. I'll be calling them tomorrow. I hope they can still see us or at least point us to something comparable in my county. I know people have a lot of luck with county mental health, but ours leaves a lot to be desired.

    I'm absolutely drained. And I'm heartsick. I don't know how this could have become so severe and I not know it. I know the pain she is feeling. I'd give anything if I could take it from her.

    Please keep a good thought for my baby girl. Thank you.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God. How could I have missed this? I can't stop crying and I feel like I'm going to throw up.

    She's just a baby. She shouldn't have to suffer like this. No one should.

    I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better. God, I feel so helpless. She's just a baby.
  17. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Heather, please don't blame yourself. This is similar to how it was when my daughter A became so severely depressed. We knew she was anxious and sad, but one night she said she was so very sad that she wanted me to lie with her in bed until she fell asleep. In the dark she suddenly said, "I wish I were dead." Those words changed our lives. After she fell asleep, I sat in the bathroom with the door closed and sobbed for an hour. But the next morning, she was put on medication and things did improve after a while.

    You are right that when kids say they wish they were dead, they are not generally suicidal but rather expressing the utter helplessness and hopelessness they feel about their lives. But do keep a close watch on her and take some precautions like locking up prescription medications and sharps, just in case.

    You're not helpless. You're a strong mom who will get her baby help tomorrow. Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
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