How worried should I be?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by beam-me-up, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    Hi all,

    I can't begin to describe how grateful I am to find this place. I have spent the last few hours scouring the internet for clues about whether my 14 yo daughter's incandescent rages are caused by hormones or some sort of mental disorder.

    To be honest, I thought what was happening in our home was so bad that it was going to be hard to find anyone to understand. But here I have found you and not only do I feel that I can tell my story and you will understand it but that also many have been through the same and much worse.

    My daughter is 14. She is very beautiful and that's not just a mother talking. I mention it because I think her good looks are already getting her a free pass for bad behaviour in some cases and in future are only going to bring her trouble unless she learns that beauty comes from within.

    I have had problems with her for several years now. Defiance, temper tantrums, lying, stealing. My ex (her father) moved to another country for training and never moved back. We officially separated about a year ago. About three years ago when I went to visit him for a short holiday, I was explaining to him the problems I was having with P, he didn't believe the things I was telling him. In fact, he hinted I was probably jealous of her and didn't love her enough.

    My mother had also not believed me until she had to stay with the kids for that 10 days. Every time I told her about the extent of P's lying, being defiant, aggression, destruction or stealing she said I was being paranoid and all kids acted out. I knew back then that the behaviour was not quite normal and when I came home that time, my mum had finally experienced a little bit of it for herself and finally understood that I was not being paranoid or exaggerating.

    When P was about 5, there was a swing park in front of our house. She went over there one day with a friend from school and her mother. The woman came to me later and told me that she had overheard P telling a couple of strangers at the park, (both young mothers with little kids) that I never fed her or bought her clothes and that I hit her every night. None of that was true and thankfully the woman who came to me had been around our family enough to know that it was all lies because she talked the strangers out of going to child services. I was so hurt. But I also was just so astonished that a child so small could come up with such a horrific story. To this day, I still don't know where that came from or why she did that.

    Anyway, fast forward till today. In the past week, P has smashed a large glass candle holder on the floor, booted the bannisters of the rented house we live in trying to break them, put her fist through the glass pane of the kitchen door, thrown food out of the freezer all over the floor, food out of the cupboards all over the floor. She even punched the mirror n the bathroom so hard I thought it would break but it held, thank goodness.

    These rages are over insignificant things. Last night's drama was over biscuits, a day or so because she could not find her cheap sunglasses and the mirror incident because she had smudged her mascara.

    She looms over her brother. He's 12 and she admits to me that she wants to frighten and menace him. She says she hates him. She has told me she hates me too and wishes I was dead. Calls me a :censored2: and spits - not actually on me yet- but in my general direction. She has also said that she is useless and wishes she was dead and that she can see nothing in her future to look forward to because she can't do anything

    She has not actually struck me though I did get a nasty bruise on my calf when she lashed out at me a year or so ago with a hose. She did not mean to hurt me that time.

    She is dodging school. Her grades are slipping but it is through lack of trying. She's actually very clever but she refuses to apply herself to anything that requires any work at all.

    Her room is disgusting. In our old house she had a bathroom to herself. During her period she would leave used towels and tampons all around. You can't see the floor of her bedroom most of the time. I guess some of that is normal teen but used tampons? Is that normal?

    I feel everything ramping up and am afraid it will end up with her hurting herself, my son or me. Or maybe one of the animals. She generally ignores them rather than being systematically cruel to them. Although she did punch my dog in the face once when she was angry with me. I think what she had really wanted to do was punch me in the face. She does not wet the bed and has no interest in fires.

    She is very manipulative and as I said above she lies to beat the band and has stolen considerable amounts - twice €50 at a time. She could not even imagine that I would not have noticed.

    She has repeatedly said that I favour my son and I know she is extremely jealous of him. She always has been. He is easier natured that is for sure - at least so far - but I love her more than life itself. I love them both. She was such a miracle to me as I had been told I could never have kids. I walked on eggshells for 9 months so I did not lose that baby. Now she tells me I obviously did not even want her and she wishes she had never been born. :(

    So sorry for my long rant. My head is spinning and I feel I have not even scratched the surface. I feel so lost and am an expat in a foreign country. The doctors here are notorious for being arrogant unless you speak their language perfectly and I am very reluctant to somehow put her into the system where her future might be determined by some doctor not being happy with the way I speak Spanish.

    Is this normal behaviour? Should I be worried?
  2. Dear Beam, I'm so sorry you are going through this. Others will come along to advise you. It seems to me that something serious is going on, maybe a mood disorder or a personality disorder. My step-son had violent rages over insignificant things for years. We went to various doctors and had several different diagnoses before he was finally correctly diagnosed correctly with bipolar disorder. The right medications made a huge difference. He still has disabilities and doesn't function like a typical kid, but he's no longer violent and raging every day.

    Please get her evaluated and get professional help as soon as possible. Document everything so you can present it clearly and have good evidence of her behavior. It is definitely not normal. You need to be safe in your home, too. If she tries to hurt you or anyone, call the police. Not doing so sends a message that she can hit you with no consequences. It's better for these things to be done now before she is an adult and you have no legal authority over her. Being in another country complicated things. Maybe you could hire a professional translator.

    Hang in there. You're not alone.
  3. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    Thank you for replying Second Time Around,

    After the door glass breaking incident and rage last night, she left to go to stay at a friend's house. This is a friend she does stay over with from time to time and they came right to the door to get her at midnight. I thought this was a better option than her storming out into the night as she threatened to do if I did not let her go out of the house.

    We've been speaking on the phone this morning and I have said she should come back this afternoon at a time I know my youngest will be out. She sounds very small and sad today not at all the tower of rage and hatred she was yesterday. I said we can't go on like this and we need help. She seemed to agree so that's maybe a baby step in the right direction.

    Of course, getting her to come to an appointment with me is a whole other story but in the past, she has refused to even consider any kind of counselling.

    Thank you again,
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ive raised four teens, two girls and two boys. Your daighters behavior is not typical teen. Its not hormones. I would consider drug abuse and mental illness and have her evaluated. I do not know if you can choose your own medical professionals in your country. If you can, I feel neuropdycholohists figure things out the very best. Ten hours of intensive testing. Use the best options you have and get her seen.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to our little corner of the world. I agree she definitely needs to be evaluated. This is not typical behavior at all. It does sound like it could be a mood disorder. So glad you found us but so sorry you needed to.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Your daughter sounds very angry. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that her dad "left". That is certainly still no excuse for her behavior but I agree with the others, you definitely need to get outside help of some type. Glad that your mom is on board, at least you have some support.

    Others on here are much more knowledgeable than I, but I just wanted to offer you support and let you know that you are NOT alone in your struggles and to keep posting. It will help you. Keep us updated.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Red flags.
    Why would your ex say that you would be jealous of your daughter?
    It sounds like the behavior goes a LONG way back but got worse with puberty.

    I hate to even raise the question, it's so ugly. But is there any chance she was sexually abused from a very young age? You can't ask her - it requires delicate professional handling by those who really know what they are doing. But it would explain her rage and other behaviors.
  8. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    I am sure she was not sexually abused but I know she was bullied by my ex and she is not sorry he is out of her life.

    Although he had a totally western lifestyle when I met him 20 years ago (drinking alcohol, bacon sandwiches, nightclubs etc), over the years he has taken on the restrictions of his Muslim roots. He is very hard on her. To the extent that the time before last when he came home it was getting very explosive between them and I sent her up to live with my mother till he left.

    Literally he was telling her she had to scrape her hair back and cast her eyes to the ground when she walked outside. He blew a fuse if she waved at a schoolmate. He was treating her like a servant too. Telling her to do this and do that while my son sat there in all his princely glory not asked to lift a finger. He'd take the boy with him everywhere but rebuffed her if she wanted to go somewhere and I remember one time her asking me why her daddy pushed her away when she went up to cuddle him.

    She will barely speak with him on the phone now if he calls and quite honestly I don't blame her and do not make her speak to him.

    I often wondered if there was something like bi-polar in him. He never hit any of us but there was a lot of glowering and oppressive looks. He sucked the life out of me with his mood swings and controlling behaviour.

    I don't know what he meant about me being jealous of her. Just another put down. I heard a lot of them.

    I thought I was finally free of all that but now, I wonder if P has that in her there is so much of him in these outbursts that its scary.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There is a genetic predisposition to bi-polar. So, whether her dad is diagnosed with it or not, if he has it, then there is a chance she will have it. And bi-polar tends to show up at or after puberty (there is an early-onset form). It might explain some current behaviors. But it doesn't explain the stories in the park at age 5.
  10. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    She has refused to go to the doctor with me for now so I am going to ask a bilingual friend to go with me and help me explain the situation. From there maybe I will get a referral to a specialist or get some advice on what to do next.
  11. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    :welcomecat: Welcome, beam me up. What a great idea to take a bilingual friend to the doctor with you. You may want to do a parent report for your daughter to help the doctor understand what has occurred in a concise way. Here's the link.

    I hope she will be cooperative for the appointment. I think the way you explain it to your daughter is that you want her to get help, so that she won't be jerked around by her emotions. How will she hold a job if she cannot control her own anger?
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  12. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Hi Beam Me Up. Sorry you have had to seek us out, but welcome. You are among people who understand and sympathize.

    From what you wrote, I feel like your daughter has a lot of anger and depression that she doesn't know how to deal with, and from the statements above, I feel like she may be self-medicating with illegal drugs. Skipping school and stealing money is a dead giveaway, in my humble opinion. My son exhibited these exact same symptom (well, except for the feminine products), and it was a direct result of drug use. By the time I realized what was going on, he was a full blown meth addict.

    As the others have said, I feel your daughter needs to be fully evaluated for mental illness and drug usage. I urge you to start the process of evaluation now, as this can only get worse. (((BIG HUGS)))
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  13. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    Thank you everybody. I have an appointment with a pediatric doctor on Monday. I am taking a bi-lingual friend with me but my hopes are not high that I will get taken seriously.

    I fully expect the doctor to tell me this is teenage drama when I know, and you have all confirmed, that it really is not. I have to start somewhere though, so this is it.

    I will take with me a profile and let's see what happens. I will let you know.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Stress the fact that you see this as a mental health issue, and that you want a referral for evaluation. It's not about some MD pushing pills or doing a high-level diagnosis.
  15. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    Thank you InsaneCDN,

    I will do that and that helps a lot. I have been wondering what on earth I am going to say. If I ask for something specific instead of expressing worry then that is more concrete.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    In your own words, here are things I think you need to specifically high-light:
  17. beam-me-up

    beam-me-up New Member

    Again, thank you so much.

    I feel guilty for hoping the doctor agrees with me that there is something wrong. I should be hoping for her to be healthy. But we had another episode this morning and I can't imagine living like this for ever.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Beam.

    Moms are so often right. Trust yourself.
    It's no different than if she had cancer. One part of you would be hoping to be proven wrong, and the remainder would be looking for validation that you are right, so she can get help.

    The biggest thing is that we want our kids to be healthy - and that includes mental health too.
  19. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I second this! We would have absolutely no problem treating diabetes, or a thyroid issue or a heart problem, but people still try to hide mental health as a taboo that needs to be swept under the rug, instead of treated appropriately. Some of it only requires counseling, but some of it is a chemical imbalance that needs to be treated with medication. Ignoring it and sweeping it under the rug doesn't fix it, and our children all deserve better than that. So, I think we shouldn't feel guilty for seeking treatment.

    Good luck with the doctor. I hope it gets the ball rolling in a positive direction.
  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Isn't hindsight 20/20? I wish I had known more about anxiety and depression before it happened to my son when he went through puberty. I was so ignorant and it probably cost the family (mostly him) a lot of unnecessary pain!