Hi, I'm new here and glad to have found this forum, only wish I knew about it a few years ago. I have a 20yo daughter (I'm not sure what difficult child stands for, help??) who was diagnosis'd with conduct disorder at about 16yo. I don't think there's any way to make my story short but I'll try not to write a novel. daughter's bio dad and me have been divorced since she was three years old; I have been remarried for the last 16 years, also have two stepkids. daughter was diagnosis'd with ADD (inattentive type) when she was 12 and conduct disorder and depression at 16. She was incarcerated in a state facility (teen prison) at the time of the latter diagnoses. She started having problems fairly early on. Both her bio dad and me noticed she was lying quite a bit around the age of 6, anything and everything.; avoiding punishment, blaming others, and just making up nonsense stories. This went away for a few years but came back full force while in the 4th grade. This was also the year all of the academic problems started. Also the year she became 'mouthy' with teachers. Middle school was when the problems really started. In 6th grade she would take a sack lunch from home yet throw/give it away at school. The school then allowed her to charge over $75 worth of hot lunches. Instead of giving me the note they sent home, she stole and forged one of our checks in an attempt to cover the bill at school. It never made it through the bank but I was beyond astounded when I found out. By 8th grade she was failing most of her classes and being suspended from school on a regular basis, generally for physical altercations. She and her friends would also attend after school events hoping to cause disruptions; this problem started occurring on a regular basis after she was kicked off a team for bad grades. The last straw for her living with us was when I found a butcher knife in her bedroom closet, asked her why she had it, etc. At some point in the ensuing argument she told me the knife was intended for me; specifically, she said, 'this knife has got your name written all over it.' She was living three hours away with her dad by the end of the week. daughter was incarcerated in a state facility by the time she was 15-16 years old. However, she already knew the inside of the county juvenile detention center (where bio dad lives) very well. Her juvenile record includes two felony assaults against her dad, shoplifting and other theft charges, truancy, several counts of running away, countless probation violations, minor in possession (alcohol), possession of marijuana and cocaine, and a charge covering stealing expensive prescription drugs from her dad. The medication could not be used to get high in any way but without it, her dad would not live very long; she was not ignorant to this fact. While incarcerated she received intensive in-patient mental health care along with attending anger management and group therapy; she was incarcerated there for about 2 years. Those were the two quietest years of the last 20. She saw a psychiatrist there three times per week and at first wasn't cooperative, just like the 7-8 other counselors we had tried taking her to in the past. Her normal tactic with them was to purposely fall asleep while they were talking. Eventually she became more cooperative with the psychiatric (we thought " I believe now she only talked, and likely lied some, because she knew it was the only way she would ever be released). She was diagnosis'd and was placed on Zoloft and her behavior did seem to improve. Wasn't nearly as short-tempered and the lying seemed to be tapering off. I'm sure it cut down on her impulsivity but with such a hardcore liar, one can never be too sure. Today she and I are estranged and have not seen each other since this past May; she was attending college in a city two hours north of me. She lived in the dorms and then moved in with a boyfriend; dorms were ok, living with boyfriend was a disaster. The now ex boyfriend was ADHD and BPII, not medicated. While with him she stopped talking Zoloft and things have gone downhill fast since then. Beginning of this year she was kicked out of her boyfriend's apartment and we rented her (and paid for) another place on a one-year lease as she was still in school. By May she abruptly dropped all of her classes mid-quarter while only being seven classes away from graduation, and costing me thousands in wasted tuition. I found out from the school, not her, six weeks later. She also continued to use her classes and working as an excuse for not being able to take care of certain things " too tired " although she hadn't been in any classes in weeks. Lying is back worse than ever and I've lost more money than I want to think about. I've cut her off financially and she managed to get herself out of the apartment lease early; now living with a girl friend and the boyfriend she cheated on the now ex boyfriend with. I've also recently found out she's shoplifted at least twice in the last year, drives friends' cars without a license, and has probably driven drunk. She also has a fake ID and goes to bars regularly. The last time I saw her a weapon fell out of her purse and onto the passenger side of my car; she referred to it as a ‘shank,' says they are illegal, and supposedly a cop from California (we don't live in CA) gave it to her. She also smokes pot and gets high off ‘shrooms' on a regular basis. She does have a PT job but generally makes no more than $600 a month (we live in a metropolitan area/high cost of living). She's no longer allowed in our home due to physically threatening me there a year ago. She also once broke into her ex boyfriend's apartment to take back a cat he wouldn't let her take when he kicked her out. She shattered the sliding glass door to get in the apartment. I don't know how she's managed to avoid being arrested on most of these issues. No problem with tough love/detachment and have cut her off financially aside from health insurance; the presence of which keeps her going back to Planned Parenthood every three months for depo. I don't trust her with anything and have no plans to communicate with/see her any more than I have to. The lying and the violence deters me the most. This is my question, stupid as it sounds……is this it? If so, do I just get on with my life as- is without her in it? She refuses counseling or medication...it's everyone else who's wrong, of course. Unless she gets help and a lot of it, I don't see her getting any better. I've often wondered if she is a sociopath and she fits the criteria. Like anyone else, there was a time I never imagined something like this happening. If she never gets better, I can't have her in my life like this. If she appears to get better one day, how do I/we know we're not just being manipulated by someone a little older and wiser than she is now. After many years of this I just can't see being able to trust her. She has managed to turn most of my relatives against us, including my parents. My dad hasn't spoken to me in two years because of the lies and manipulation; my mom and daughter are a LOT alike so I can't/won't trust her. My grandparents have been convinced I put my daughter out on the streets, not true. No one wants to believe that we didn't "do something to make her this way." Aside from the divorce, childhood was pretty decent.....no similar life traumas. Even after 20 years I still don't know how or why this has happened. If you got this far, thanks for reading.