I Don't know what to think/do (long vent)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tiapet, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Ok so my oldest difficult child is not so much difficult child as she used to be but can still be a major pita at times. She is in a major depressive cycle it seems after being stable for a very long time (years).:sad-very: It appears this has been triggered by a variety of things:

    teen angst/peers
    middle difficult child's behaviors and her inability to cope with it (none of us quite frankly are able to right now because it's that bad):whiteflag:
    lack of things to "stimulate her"/things to/participate in (but in fairness she also kind of "doesn't want to do anything that is suggested to her - not interested)
    her boyfriend lives out in CA (he is a college student - good upstanding guy and good for her) but they do talk on the phone or IM every day and sometimes online
    She is seriously questioning life and the purpose of it "why are we here if we are only going to die anyway?" (she used to believe in God and no longer does - nothing we can say helps her as far as purposes or finding purpose):huh:

    Back in September I found out that she half hearted attempted suicide by taking a few extra of her stimulant pills (which she doesn't have access to as a general rule simply because we give them to her in the morning by her choice for years now, not because she can't be trusted). This shocked and surprised me because she is against suicide and still is as she states that "if she knew that it didn't have snowball effect on everyone left behind" she would commit it (so is she really against it or not?). She says she will never do so, ever because she is too afraid of dying and the unknown of what happens after death too at this point. I think I am pretty well convinced she is against it and too scared to do so by all the discussions and statements she's made.

    I also just found out that about a month and a half ago she was cutting herself (down her one leg).:surprise: No serious cuts but definite marks that are going to leave some scars. Now we have this rule/understanding that I made clear since she began early teens that she is in my house and so long as she is I will go through her room, computer, etc. and check on her. That all things are privy to me. You all might disagree on this with me as an invasion of privacy but she agreed and still does agree that it's ok. She also knows that I will not and do not use what I find against her but to help her (and each time I have found something negative that is exactly what I have done) to protect/teach her as best I can. With having said the above, I found in an IM message that she just recently cut again slightly her palm. :( Add to this that I also see that she will take Tylenol at times (not in excessive amounts but still not as it should be taken).

    Ok, so we have been talking about all this and she has been asking to go "talk" to someone for help! :D She is my gifted child. She knows she has a problem and wants help and I am so proud of her for it. Yet at the same time feel so, so badly that I can't be of more help to her then I am. It hurts! I have called to set her up with the Dr. that takes care of her medications and difficult child has even agreed to play Russian rullette to find a new combo that may help (which in the past she has outright refused to do because of the horrible past experience so many years ago - think back for you old timers when I used to post about all the bad things that went on- she remembers all of it and knows it was medication related to a degree).

    We've also started her on birth control at her request. Well, this new addition of birth control is partly for stabilizing the moods it's also to bring about "regularity" but she is also concerned that "maybe", "in case" in the future she and boyfriend (when he comes and visits" ) decide to do something. She knows I do not condone sexual activity (and yes gave her the protection talk as well that she needs more then just the pill) and am not advocating her to do so and wishes she would wait but am proud of her for being pro-active. Here's another shocker is that she has all these sexual thoughts (I thought only boys at this age had them?).

    I'm am seriously very happy that my daughter trusts me enough to generally tell me and talk to me openly about most everything (I admit there are some things I know she doesn't). She will also talk with SO about things as well (with and without me). SO is extremely intelligent himself and they can connect on so many other levels and interests that I can not with her too so that helps (like school work - algebra II and tougher stuff). She is an all honors student (yet won't join the honor society which she has an opportunity to do and refuses) and next year will be in all AP class student. I wondered if school pressure (academics) was part of this and she says not at all. I know she is having anxiety of thinking about college (not about going to it necessarily but about choosing). That IS an overwhelming thought. Since she will only be a junior next year and with AP courses that year and the next I think she will have successfully completed something like the first year or two entry of college before actually starting college if I understood about the AP class thing (it's early entry program to college).

    Now for the baffling thing. She is respectful yet disrespectful to me at times. The disrespect comes in terms of using foul language in my house when I've asked her not to (especially because the younger ones are picking it up and using it). She does follow rules for the most part (she will stay up to late or on phone/computer too long some times and then we have to ground her but that doesn't happen too often, usually a reminder brings her back under control).

    We just can't seem to talk. I mean I know I said she will talk to me about anything and she does, when she wants to. But in general on a daily basis it's a constant battle it seems to the point that I actually avoid talking to her because it turns into a fight and it seems like I am the one she blames. It's all "my fault" in what ever it is. I know down right it isn't. I'm thinking perhaps maybe it's just because I'm "safe" right now for her to take out her frustrations on and she knows I will love her unconditionally and so everything is a battle (general conversations, etc..)?

    I can ask her to do something and "if" she is in a good mood at the moment there is no battle or fight and she will be quite happy and willing to do it. If not, well she gets nasty and......

    Oh and one more thing, in her IM's I read she told her one friend that the reason she cuts or all the other negative things she's done recently (pills,etc.. --- she considers herself emo) is because she seems to pick up what others do and then she just imitates it subconsciously?! Is this possible? Possible that she can even identify that she is doing this subconsciously?

    Now remember, this is the difficult child that previously was diagnosed years ago with Bipolar. They have since dropped the ODD on her. I will say she does have some sensory (smells and sounds) issues too. By her own admission, she enjoys pain :surprise: (Ladies, she will wax her legs because she "likes" the pain! for example). She was stable for many years if the diagnosis stands, if not then I'm wondering what the hecks going on. She has become very interested in psychology (enough that she has contemplated going into it for a career at one point but now I think it's back to bio-science). She came to me and said "I think I fit borderline personality disorder". I said don't get caught up in diagnosis because they can overlap and you just don't know. Leave it to the doctor (which she is). She is, however, very very black and white in her thinking and has ALWAYS been that way. There is no gray.

    So there is my vent. Sorry it's so long. I'm just struggling with this while I'm struggling with middle difficult child's behaviors (which quite frankly are actually far more dangerous and troubling and causing more trouble for all and everywhere), plus my own health issues which are pretty deep. SO is wonderful in helping but even he has been worn down now and his job has heeped on serious stress so he hasn't been able to do/help as much as he normally does (which makes him feel really bad - and he is such a dear man).

    I know and AM happy for where difficult child is at over all but geesh.......... she's thrown me a real curve ball !:erm:
  2. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I mainly just wanted to respond to your comment about being shocked by dtr's sexual thoughts. Girls have them every bit as much as boys. I remember starting to have them by about age 12 though I didn't exactly know what they were! By age 16 I was sexually active and I thought it was ridiculous that people thought only boys were interested or that a girl couldn't just want sex without it being anything more than that.

    I also think the fact that you can't communicate so well anymore is very normal. Teens are supposed to be pulling away from their parents. One minute they want to be close, the next they are shutting you out.

    I think it is great that she wants to go talk to someone. It would be a very good thing for her to have an adult to talk to who can be objective and help her along the way. That is kind of funny that she has diagnosed herself with Borderline (BPD). I really thought my difficult child 1 had it--she certainly had every trait, but as she has matured I don't see it much at all anymore. My dtr also used to cut--she too enjoyed the pain. She has many scars on her legs from cutting. She also enjoyed the notoriety and drama from it--her friends were worried about her, she got lots of attention.

    Sorry you are having these problems--I know how hard it is to have more than one difficult child and to have them both acting out at the same time--not fair!

  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    As far as her not talking to you all the time or being nasty one minute and nice the next or having to wait until she's in the right mood to ask her to do something. I always ask myself - 1.) Would the world wait until Dude was in a decent mood to ask him the question? ie; is this so important that if not answered it creates more/bigger problems for someone else? 2.) Is it a question that needs to be asked right now? Right this second? If not - then I divert and either do it myself (weighing blowup vs. just do it myself).

    I think it is really a great thing that she is accepting and willing to get help. She's very brave to endure the medicine go round. I felt a lot of times like Dude was the state guinea pig. 64 medications and combos in 9 years says he was! Currently he is doing CBT and refuses to take pills. It's either one or the other - never all or nothing with him. lol

    And as far as going through a room in YOUR home with a child that has a history of (fill in the blank) I agree and I do /did the same thing. Like you if I found stuff there was no confrontation - just a talk.

    As far as the sexual desire feelings? Well - I guess if boys do it girls can do it too.

    With regards to the language - and I will probably get some that disagree with me, but I would put my foot down. You have to start somewhere and self-respect is a good place to start. I'm not talking the occasional swear word in casual conversation or to make a point - but the every day F this GD that ? NO WAY! We told Dude if he didn't respect himself how could he expect US or anyone else to? Dude is now at TFH and the first thing the foster dad said was - NO CURSING and We go to church on Sunday - you can't live with those rules - don't bother coming to our home because we have small children there that DO need an older person setting a good example and curse words are NOT taught in school and won't be spoken here. I thought that was a good explanation.

    On the matter of do I think she is cutting subconsciously? No. Since she's doing that - I would say the sooner she gets therapy the better. Cutters cut for a variety of reasons. Dude tried it - I grabbed a knife when I found out and pinned him down on the bed and offered to cut him. He freaked out and after we had a long talk about being a copy cat for dumb reasons. He had heard about it - and wanted to try it. He was not lacking in physical feelings and unable to feel anything.

    Regarding the suicide? With stims? I'm more inclined to believe that someone told her it would give her a rush like speed and she may have felt like she was dying??? I dunno. I'd keep an eye on that and maybe even call the suicide hotline for some advice and your therapist.

    As far as not believing in God. I think the fact that she's worried about suicide - says maybe she does still but she's just so angry with him and her life she is in denial. Not uncommon. And as far as her taking suicide all the way? Sigh - who could tell? My x has 13 attempted suicides on his record and 2 which had no one caught he would have expired. But we were told that it wasn't coincidence that someone caught it. It was a set up. In your daughters case - again - I think that one is a ?? for the therapist.

    Sounds like you really have your hands full. I will say on a positive note that she's willing. THAT seems to be part of the battle.

    Hugs for your days - sounds like you need the pink fuzzy board friendship blanket to wrap up in for a while. (hands Tiapet a blankey)

  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    What Star said.

    Pretty much all of it.
  5. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Jane, I know she is suppose to be pulling away and actually encouraged/encouraging her to do so and get a social life. Prior to our move and up until about then she had not much of a social life. Once I had divorced ex her life slowly started growing because she could breathe again and I forced her to do so. As she put it, she lived under a rock socially. Partly because of "where" we lived and partly because of "how" we were living back then. Because she has such social and other anxieties it has been a slow process but I'm happy to say she is finally moving along! :)

    In fact up until a year ago or so she didn't have any boyfriends so to speak of (and this girl is a beautiful 5'9 - no lie blue eyed blonde beauty) because the boys were intimidated by her brains. I tried to teach her that. Now it's coming around and the boys are flocking and she is trying to handle that. She's turned into quite the flirt (but she is in no way in danger of becoming trouble with the flirt because she's still too scared of her own shadow in that respect).

    Funny you mention drama, she is all about drama too. She likes drama figuratively and literally unless it's one of her friends creating it. Then she tires of it, although does her best to help over and above. The thing is though, no one knows or sees her scars so I don't think it's the drama of cutting. There is only her boyfriend and her best friend online besides us who know about the cutting.

    Yes, I kind of got girls do think about sex as much as boys but the shock is because you would have to understand that difficult child is/was very very prudish. She couldn't even stand to watch kissing on TV! That is until this past year and boom, everything suddenly changed so very drastically. It's almost like a complete swing of the pendulum with out her actually doing anything yet.

    Star, I'm like you. I stop and think about what I need to ask her and basically don't ask unless I have to. She thinks nothing of exploding and will explode on the younger ones too and that's not good at all.

    Respect is the biggest issue in this household and is one of the 2 big focuses for all difficult child and has been for the years since ex left. #1 is NO violence (since they all tend to be physical and verbal) and #2 is RESPECT ourselves and others (space and property). All else is worked on but can and does fall to the side when we have to prioritize. Ex's words were F this and F that. Every other words was F. difficult child 1 didn't use to swear. My little guy did (his rational was ex did it so he HAD to do it in his place, no lie this is what he told therapist) So difficult child started to do it and it made it harder to break little guy. Middle one didn't swear at all and now even she has picked it up. I swear (lol no not literally) I now live in a house full of foul mouthed sailors! :(

    It is NOT good because last year little dude used it on the bus and at times in school and we had big problems. In NC it's all prim and proper and about respect big time in the schools with the teachers (and I realize it should be to begin with anyway). Many of them expect Ma'ams even. My kids are from up north where it wasn't taught. We finally got him to the point he at least doesn't do it there. Now middle difficult child is doing it in school and on bus and she already has BIG problems in school. So we have the major curse words but difficult child 1 is using words like S*** and wh*** when she talks about things and middle one picked up those words and is using them on her peers in school! :(

    I have given her consequences for her actions as best I can for a 16 year old (in this case there is only phone and computer time as she doesn't do or go anywhere). I will also deny her things if she asks because of her behaviors. She does try "sometimes" to keep it in check and other times she doesn't or the words just seem to slip out as if it was a natural part of her speech.

    As for her lack of feelings and cutting, she says it quiets her thoughts in her head and yes, sometimes makes her feel something other then numb (two different reasons at different times). If I did what you did to dude she wouldn't stop me because again, she likes pain. She would not jump. She would probably just sit there and, if I didn't stop, let me stab her. She has done other painful things to herself. Like I said, she honestly enjoys pain!

    As for the stimulant pills, those were the ones at her disposal that were "hers" (all our pills actually were around at the time so she could have taken anyones). She just started this tylenol kick recently. Not sure why on that. Keeps asking for tylenol PM. I think there is more to this because I've heard an awful lot about it and seems to be a common thing going on but I'm not sure why.

    I believe she may be in denial. Her grandfather died back in Aug a almost a year ago (although she was not close and it doesn't seem to matter -quite the opposite for reasons I won't go into here). Then her great Grand mother had died in May before that who she WAS very close to and was the reason she got into religion so deeply (and she had to watch the process of months to death). That could be a reason but I'm not sure.

    I am very very happy she is willing because in the past she has refused because we ran into not finding anyone she clicked with or her "seeing" through therapists and doctors because she is so darn smart. The reason she got better years ago is because she did take an active part in her therapy and was learning about herself and what was wrong.

    Thank you BBK! :)
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Find a good therapist for this child. Get her to the psychiatrist to try medications since she is willing.

    I FULLY agree with searching any room in YOUR house, no matter if it is "her" room. YOU are the one the cops will blame if they search and find drugs.

    Cutting is addictive. It requires therapy. Some depressed people do it to cope. Not sure why. There are actually many reasons for cutting. It is addictive no matter the reason.

    Be careful with the tylenol, esp if she is drinking. Tylenol and ANY amount of alcohol can result in a terrible, slow painful death. And the effects cannot be reversed. Maybe keep the tylenol in your room, locked up?

    As far as questioning religion, death etc... it is very common among teens. The whole emo thing seems to have some emphasis on it. Cutting is also part of the emo "culture" as my difficult child calls it.

    Girls definitely DO have the same sex drive and curiousity as boys. And with bipolar, hypersexuality can be part of it. In either sex. Her "prudishness" may have been because she did not know how to handle the feelings kissing scenes brought up. Sounds like you handled that well, gave her info, things to protect her, and let her know your values. Can't do much more than that, in my opinion.

    I have a slightly different opinon on the cursing. I agree that in the house and around the other family members you should insist on no cursing. I like the foster dad's statement that they don't teach it in school so we don't use it, or something close to that.

    I DO think that the cursing issue may be an opportunity to explain time and place. No behavior is appropriate in all situations, except breathing. Learning to judge what behavior to use where is important. Cursing may be the OK "out behind the barn" but it is not OK anywhere near the family, school, or adults (meaning people NOT in her peer group). It is simply a sign of respect for the family, and others not to curse.

    I hope that the medication merry-go-round is quick and easy, and that therapy is very effective.