I gave up!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    :whiteflag: As mentioned in another post, I gave up! This weekend I could not handle this stupid anxiety that my difficult child has. I want a holiday or any day that has no fears or anxiety. I want difficult child to relax and enjoy the special things we do. He is brininging me way down. I am so tired of listening to him say that his head feels weird, that he feels like he is swaying, that he knows he is dying, that he doesn't want to be creamated but buried in a box. Enough already! I get it! Stop pushing it into me!

    difficult child threw up again on Thursday. There was no school but husband took him out for errands because I was working (well suppose to be working - that is another bitter story). I am so selfish this weekend.

    On Friday, psychiatrist's nurse called. psychiatrist had read the report from therapist's visit on Wednesday and wanted to up the Flouxetine to 15 mg. So, we are doing 10 mg one day and 20 mg the next for a total of 30 mg every two days.

    brother in law and sister in law took us to Hell's kitchen for breakfast yesterday. Wonderful food but the atmosphere and pictures on the wall were disturbing for difficult child. However, he made it through Friday and Saturday without throwing up.

    On Saturday, brother in law and husband were going to take him to the Omni Theater. I was so tempted to play protective mom and go with but instead, I gave difficult child a propranolol to prevent a panic attack (I just wasn't sure - his mood was leaning toward one and I knew husband and brother in law would not be able to handle it) and I went on my separate way. When husband called, I held my breath but he was calling looking for Diva. The movie was sold out so the guys went back to the condo. difficult child was fine.

    Then this morning, we went to church a bit early to have Easter breakfast (fundraiser for the youth group). difficult child threw up again. I don't get this - I don't get it when he throws up on non-school days. This time was BEFORE he took his medications. Then we sat through services with him lamenting on how he was sure he was going to die. That was when I really gave up. I told him that today would be a good day. He said he was afraid to close his eyes so I told him to close his eyes and get it over with.

    I am very selfish today. I want my son to enjoy life. I am sick of him struggling with fears all the time every day. I am tired of him not really enjoying the activities that brother in law and sister in law go out of their way to provide.

    Tomorrow we have a neurology appointment. Maybe that will help both of us?

    There were some promising moments though that have helped. difficult child slept in the living room at the guest condo we were in (he usually sleeps on the floor in our room while visiting). And the biggest which really surprised me was that on our way home he asked to stop for a restroom. We stopped at a gas station and he went in alone to use the restroom. Those two independent steps are biggies for him.

    So, I plan on having a good night's sleep and shaking off this selfishness ready for battle tomorrow. But I think I will keep up with the cold shoulder routine to make him deal with this and not try to put it on to me to solve. I have done and continue to do my best and although it may not always work, it is all I can do.
  2. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I'm sorry you're having a rough day, things got kind of hectic here too but my misery was self induced (side effect of giving my girls too much chocolate). I don't think you gave up I think you just needed to vent. So glad you got that out. Here I'll join you for a group growl GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROWL!

    When was the last time your son was in for a medical check up? What he could have going on (from your description) is ulcers. It sounds like 20 years ago when I got my butt kicked pretty bad, Dr. really wanted me in the hospital. It might not be ulcers could be a nervous stomach which if treated like ulcer will usually tame down a lot. I noticed when I got my stomach under control my anxiety got under control also.

    I was on practically a baby food diet along with needing zantac & zanax for about 6 months getting them under control. Even now I can't do italian food 2 nights in a row and I gotta take zantac when I touch anything with tomato. Drinking is a big no no for me too.

    I don't remember does he have any food alergies that could be causing problems? Hopefully you find a curable medical cause that is fueling this anxiety soon, I think both you and your son deserve a little peace.
  3. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Sometimes it is just too much, I certainly relate to wanting things to just be closer to "normal", I don't even dream of "normal". It is understandable that it is getting to you. I'm glad you sent difficult child with husband to the Omni.

    Selfish can be a very, very good thing if it keeps you taking care of yourself enough to keep going.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Andy... you need a break. Somehow or someway because you seem to literally spend all your time supporting difficult child and the rest of the family, volunteering at the church & school and trying to do your job at work. Take a walk in the evenings or read a good book or take a bubble bath. You won't be able to help difficult child if you allow yourself to be pushed beyond your limit.

    About difficult child... it seems like an awful lot of his anxiety revolves around school and church. Is it possible that someone there is adding to his anxiety (another student or adult)?
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am sorry, I know how you feel. How does he react when you say, go ahead, get it over with? Mine cries...really hard and says I don't love him, how can I tell him to die......blah, blah. Then I feel really guilty. Makes it even worse is when I leave for work in that situation, then have to sit here for 12 hours and feel guilty and sad that he feels that way. Your difficult child doesn't cry when you say that?

    I find difficult child talking to himself, trying to reason with himself. Saying..."It's ok, I just have a headache", or "I'll be ok, everyone else is ok"...he tells himself he has been to the doctor and been checked out, he is fine. But that doesn't always work as you know.

    I hope you and difficult child have a better day today.
  6. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    I just want to say that your are NOT selfish just fed up with trying to
    cope with a distressing situation when he says he wants to die..

    I would say the very same thing out of frustration,,,,,what the heck are you supposed to say? You have done it all.

    It can be such a tough road. hugs
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I think your reactions are perfectly normal. As TM said, you're always doing so much for everyone but yourself. I agree with her that you need some time just to yourself...

    Unfortunately, life with difficult children is always full of drama, chaos, etc., ... The only thing that we can control is our reactions to it. Making a bit of time for yourself will give you the strength and energy you need to get through each and every day...

    I think all of us can relate to how you're feeling at one time or another... I know that I've needed to be reminded many times by others here, that I needed to take some time just for me. This advice has saved me countless times!!!

    I'm hoping today is a much better day for you... Hugs... WFEN
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you! I am looking forward to today.

    difficult child ended up in bed with us last night - 1st time in ages. I honestly can't remember the last time he actually slept in our bed. He said he couldn't sleep. He didn't sleep well this weekend but that was understandable at someone else's home. Things are getting so weird for him. I did ask him if anything happened at church/school and he said no. He doesn't like chapel which leads me to believe the lights are bothering him. It is usually only during math and reading there are problems - he always looks forward to lunch and recess with the other kids. He is the oldest in school this year.

    He is also hungry this morning because he ate hardly anything last night. He actually ate hardly anything all weekend.

    I told him to work on relaxing. He replies, "You always say that as if it is easy. It is not easy." I tell him I know it is not easy, it is work but if he practices it someday it may become a habit. I think he doesn't try hard enough sometimes. Just because something doesn't work the first time, you don't stop trying.

    When I tell him to go ahead and just get it over already, I think it just shocks him. He doesn't know how to react. I very very seldom get to that point but he will just say that I don't care about him. He gets sad but does not cry. I think he knows what I mean, that I am just fed up with it. This weekend I told him I was tired of dealing with it. He replied, "And you don't think I get tired of living with it?"

    The Flouxetine worked in the past. We just have to give it a few more weeks to see if it will work this time.

    My sister has a scrapbooking workshop on May 1st. I may just go to that. One or two nights away if I can find someone to take my Sunday School class - they can show a movie if they want.

    Today difficult child and I head to Fargo. Plan is to stop in at the car dealership to see what it will take to fix the driver's door so the car door clicker will work again (it works on the other doors so I know it is not the battery), do some shopping, bowl at a lane up there (depending on the results of the van door), neurology appointment, and back to town for a year end bowling party. Then early to bed. It sounds busy but there should be time between everything not to rush. I will call the neurologist to see if we can get in earlier if there was a cancellation.

    Yesterday difficult child went bowling. He played six games and got his first turkey on the 5th game and second turkey on the 6th game. His 6th game score was 181. That was a very good time for him. I thought his low score for the day was 117 but he thinks it was 114. Either way, very good.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I remember saying to my mom, "You're sick of dealing with it and I'm sick of living with it." It's not something you can turn off, even as an adult or with therapy. Well, I should add that I couldn't turn off the hypochondria and I believe your son is more severe than me. I had breaks sometimes when I didn't worry about my health, but when it hit me, I was obsessed with it. It must have made me seem very self-absorbed and selfish and irritating. But I lived in fear.
    Flurescent lights still bother me, but on the right medications and having been through therapy for thirty years (cognitive therapy being the absolute best type for me) I can deal with it now. I also am not as big a hypochondriac.
    I don't know if they have any sort of cognitive therapy for kids, but if your son is bright, I would try it. It's way different than just talk therapy. A therapist telling me, "Now you KNOW in your head that you're not REALLY sick, right?" didn't help me at all. I'd say, "No, I don't know it. And YOU don't know it." It feeds on itself.
    Buy the book "Feeling Good" by Dr. David Burns. Those methods helped me invaluably. I think that type of therapy, which you can implement at home too, could really help your son.
  10. Star*

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

    OMG Feeling GOOD was worth 3x what I paid for it for personal PTSD. It will help you - it's WAY over the top for a kid.

    I'm sure you have but could I ask - have you taken him to an internist and had his tummy to bottom checked with an endoscope? Sounds maybe like there is something misdiagnosed in his GI track. ???? Just asking - maybe he could benefit from taking a Prilosec daily for upset stomach? But my thought was if it's ulcers? You may not know until he's bleeding unless you get someone to check him out with an endoscope (Yeah I know - I've had ulcers) and it makes you miserable.

    As far as lights and sounds - why not allow him to wear - ear plugs - I buy the foam ones by the handfull and use them ALL THE TIME - I can now just about "shop" in Walmart because of them - and for his light sensitivity - how bout some sunglasses that he can wear indoors? The ear plugs have been a life saver for me. I watched that movie WOLF this weekend and thought -OMG I'm not that bad, but nearly and feel like I can hear 100 things but concentrate on nothing most days. With earplugs? Life is on track and silence is golden.

    Gotta tell ya - I'm with your little man on the public restroom thing -BLECH...I have so many 'No no's" about roadside potty breaks - but have a few tricks I'd share if he gets over the idea. One of them being a kleenex in my hand BEFORE I touch a door handle -a nd was surprised to see other women recently keep their towel to open the door and toss it back to the bin - thought - huh I'm not the only "issue" person. But my family deals and says "Oh look CLEAN RESTROOMS" -we'll never get to where we're going if we keep stopping to let you clean." and whenever CCR plays on the radio - THere's a bathroom on the right" I get ribbed again.

    YOu can get - portable lysol, learn how to hold a kleenex in your hand to open stalls and doors, portable toilet sheets....take your own tp - because you don't know WHO touched that roll with WHAT hand - ugh....yeah - there's a lot of things...nice to have a kindred bathroom spirit.

    As far as church and school - DUde had MAJOR anxiety issues for a long time but denied them. We worked with his therapist and finally found out he felt stupid for being in Self contained - and was getting teased for riding the short bus.....junk like that which can be remedied.

    How about - a spirit dog? Dude would never sleep better than when he slept with our big dog. And I painted a spirit dog on the door way into his room - to guard him. Funky Idea - but he was 8 and it worked. /helped a lot. Dogs are great help with anxiety - without mine I'd be a wreck.

    I agree with TM - that you need a break - but where to run away to. OMG you have got to read that Christian book about the woman who is running away - she's a scream - forget her name but her book is called "I'm running away." Might be good to find a nice book you enjoy, sit somehwere on a nice blanket just for you - and read even if it's a page or two - we live to accomplish goals and working towards our goals even at one page a day - is inspiring and fulfilling.

    Hope you feel better -
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Andy, you needed a break. Plain and simple. It is exhausting to live with day in and day out. That doesn't mean our hearts don't ache for our kids or that we don't understand their struggles. My daughter wants me to "fix" everything...things that I can't fix. It's every day. When she comes to me with something like that, I inwardly groan because I know that nothing I say or do will appease her; yet she's still looking for an answer.

    Do you think the propranolol is helping? I'm wondering if you need an actual anxiety medication until the prozac takes effect. I'm also wondering if the prozac could be amplifying his anxiety as SSRI's can do that initially. I *think* it's one of those side effects that goes away as the medication gets in the system.
  12. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you all so much! You guys are great!

    Midwest - I am going to the library tomorrow to look for that book. psychiatrist gave me an onsite web page to try out some cognitive therapy. I looked at it this weekend and think it is too old for difficult child. It states for 14 and up. But then again, I wasn't in the best of moods to figure it out. I think I will review it again and see if it is something I can work with difficult child on. I think he can benefit, I am not sure if I can administer it. It is too much reading for him to go through on his own. Maybe therapist would be willing to go over it with him? therapist has mentioned it but also thinks difficult child might be too young to really understand and benefit from it.

    Star - We are certain the throwing up is from the anxiety. The neurologist states he dehydrates quickly and believes he is not getting enough liquids at night or right away in the morning. I need to get to the eye doctor and order prescription sunglasses for him. We do have ear plugs - just gotta get them out and ready. Unfortunately the reason difficult child doesn't like restrooms is more the separation issue than the cleanliness issue, although I do believe the cleanliness issue is there to some degree. I like all your ideas and will start carrying handi-wipes - funny how bathrooms are so icky but washing hands are out of the question! Now that you mentioned it, Bella (diva puppy) was not with difficult child at all last night. That may be why he couldn't sleep well but he didn't think about that either. Diva dog usually starts out in difficult child's room until Diva gets home but Diva was home most of last night so that changed the routine. hmmmm This is his last year at this school. It will be interesting to see how next year plays out when he is not in the church/school 6 days a week. I'm going to look for that book also.

    Flutterby - The proponalol is only to prevent panic attacks and help him get to school. It will be used as a PRN for stressful times more to prevent panic attacks and its effects than to solve anxiety issues. Hmmm, I do wonder why he wasn't given a more anxiety based to get him through to the Flouxetine kicking in. And, now that you mention it, I think you may be right about the increase in anxiety before the medication takes effect.

    difficult child and I both had a few eye opening moments today. I have learned to ask him to rate his pain/weirdness on a scale of 1 - 10. He was complaining that his eye was bothering him. I took it as a big deal only to find out that on a scale, it was only a one. I told him he does not have to report or worry or focus on anything with a pain level of 7 or lower. I don't want to hear about it until it is an 8 or 9 or mostly 10. Except for headaches, those we need to medicate at a 1 to prevent migranes then once medications are given I don't want to hear about it. I also told him he would not die unless the pain got higher than a 10 and even then death was probably not going to happen. In other words, stop worrying about every little thing. We will deal with 10's when they happen.

    difficult child's eye opener was he couldn't understand why sometimes his head would feel weird but he didn't feel afraid. I told him that was anxiety. He did not have to feel afraid to feel the anxiety - to have the anxiety make the back of his head tingle, ect. It was like a great burden lifted from his shoulders. Almost like he thought he was suppose to be afraid of something so was trying to figure out what the fear was suppose to be, thus the self diagnosing of medical issues he may die from. (if that makes sense).

    The neurologist assured him that his symptoms are anxiety (we had an EEG and a MRI last winter). She told him that he must keep his headaches/migranes and anxiety thinking under control. He needs to drink more liquids (100 oz per day). She stated his throwing up in the mornings is an indication that he is not getting enough liquids the night before and the morning of. Dehydration is causing him to throw up. Gaterade, water, sleep, exercise, coping skills from therapist were her recommendations.

    difficult child was disappointed that he wasn't given a more tangible diagnosis. At this point anything - even a tumor - seems to be easier to deal with then the anxiety which doesn't seem to have an answer to take away the feelings. This stinks big time!

    difficult child also came away feeling better about things. For today anyway, he understands a little better. I think we are just getting tired of the seemingly endless battle. I don't blame him. I know I should whine so much and I try not to.

    Thank you everyone for helping me through this!
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am glad that there were some eye opening moments today and that difficult child understands a little more. Please don't feel like you are whining-you are not. You are definitely one of the most positive people I know. Hugs.
  14. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you are holding up remarkably well. I hope you are able to get a break soon. Hugs, ML
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Andy, your difficult child is 3 years behind difficult child 3. We've been fighting this one for a long time. Two years ago while on holiday in New Zealand, was a steep learning curve for all of us with this, difficult child 3 especially. I've written about this before - difficult child 3 didn't want to go to such a volcanically active place because he was scared we would all be killed.

    You've found what we have learned - when you got angry and impatient with difficult child, it only ramped up the problems for him. Yes, it shocks him when you say, "Go and get it over and done with," and to acertain extent he needs to see that even though HE is anxious about something, YOU are not so perhaps (over time especially) he can learn that if you are OK with things, then maybe he is safer than he feels he is.

    But you need to work on this. Yes, be no-nonsense at times but follow it through with reassurance. Not easy when you feel burnt out. For example, you told him, "Go ahead and close your eyes then," but you could have also held him close (if he is a cuddler) and thenafterwards said to him, "Well? You closed your eyes, and you were OK. How did it feel, when you knew that your fears weren't going to happen?" and finish with a reminder that YOU knew he would be OK, and he was. And you want him to be safe, you love him and care about him you won't want him to do anything that is anywhere near as dangerous as he feels things really are.

    Every fear faced and overcome, strengthens us. That is the lesson we learned in New Zealand. The day we went to Rotarua and we simply couldn't avoid the fact that it Is a volcanically active arfea - difficult child 3 was white as a sheet, felt the strong imending dread and was saying to us all, "I'm going to die. I'm really sick, I want to go back to our unit. I'm sick. I'm dying."
    I told him,"You're OK< it's just your anxiety."
    He said, "No, this is much more thna anxiety. I wouldn't feel so terribly sick, if this is just anxiety."
    I kept saying, Son - anxiety can be reallly, really severe. And in you, it is. But remember - you are not dying, you will be OK, we will finish here soon and go back to our unit. We are all OK. Look around you - see how many peole are here? Ask at the front desk of this park - they will tell you how many people visit here each year. And none of them die because they've been here."
    I also got impatient with him but I just kept reassuring him and mostly ignoring him. We certainly didn't grab him and leave - our only chance to visit Rotarua!??! I wasn't going to shorten THAT trip!

    A couple of days later we visited the Volcano Centre just out of Taupo where we were staying. It was time for difficult child 3 to do something educational, something for school. We only had about an hour there so we had to put it to good use. easy child & BF1 were going for a jet boat ride on the Waikato River (midwinter - brr!) and no way would I put myself or difficult child 3 through THAT!

    So we learned about the area. KNowledge is power. Then difficult child 3 discovered that, contrary to what I had told him (and believed myself) Rotarua was NOT the most active aprt of NZ's North Island - Taupo was, right where we were staying! The look I got from difficult child 3 was priceless - he had been looking out the window of our unit with me, to where the steam was rising from the edge of the lake 100 metres away, and listening to me saying how safe it is - and the entire lake is a huge volcanic caldera! oops.

    But then I said, "We've been there for a week - have you felt unsafe? No? So although this area is MORE active than where we live, it still is very safe. Look at this wonderful information centre - New Zealand has the world's best scientists on vulcanism, the best in the world come here to learn. if any country is safe, it will be the ones where they really NEED to know what is likely to happen, as soon as possible."
    The entire centre was focussed on information and knowledge, as well as advance warning systems. difficult child 3 spent the last part of our time there, studying the live action siesmographs. As he watched there was an earthquake happening on White Island, about 3 on the Richter Scale. He saw the other seisomograph centres near White Island also register the quake, but with a much lower amplitude. And the station's seismograph where we were barely registered at all. I said to difficult child 3, "Did we feel anything at all? No? And yet look at these traces, they're always registering a low level of vibration. And from what you know of plate tectonics, when the plates are constantly slipping, the chances of a big quake are greatly reduced. It's when the plates get stuck and don't move for a while, and then let go suddnely that you get the big quakes."

    KNowledge is power.

    We left the centre minutes later and went for a QUIET boat ride on the Waikato River. We watched the incredible torrent of the Huka Falls and twice went past the Huka Prawn Park and the associated geothermal station, where we took photos and explained it all to difficult child 3, who was taking notes for his school report. Again, knowledge. From there we went to Craters of the Moon, a lot like Rotarua only it was nerby and again, further proof that the Taupo region is indeed extremely volcanically active. difficult child 3 was still nervous but not complaining so much of feeling sick as he had been at Rotarua. We went back to the Prawn Park for lunch and he certainly ate well enough there.

    KNowledge is power. Power over your own fears. But it is like running hurdles. If you're nervous, your legs stiffen up and you can't get over the hurdles. You hit them and they fall down. You're afraid of the pain of missing and falling over the hurdles but the reality isn't so bad. So next time - you finally can sgtride high enough to get over the hurdle, and you did it! To get there took experience, it took the knowledge that you would be OK and then it took courage to try again.

    All of this needs reassurance. The more anxious your child is, the worse the symptoms. When we scold or get impatient, that can often only highlight the anxiety.

    Similarly, if we pander to it too much and allow them to give way to their fears too much, we allow the fears to remain unfaced and thereby to continue.

    balance is the key.

    And sometimes when we're tired or burnt out, we lose our sense of balance. Humour is also needed. Humour defuses tense situations and returns us to balance.

    Andy, hang in there. Use your wisdom and knowledge and refresh yourself with your humour.

    Love the boy. He'll make it. he just needs more time, and the chance to experience the other side of his fears - the happy reality of survival.

    Reduce his anxietywhere you can but always use a little bit of his fear to challenge him and help him learn to face it and survive. School can't be avoided - maybe church can be reduced for him for a while, at least. It's what we have had to do at times. Now when difficult child 3 asks to go to church, we know it's because he truly wants to go. Even if it's for a secular reason!

  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Andy, I so agree with Marg. The tweedles have been anxiety ridden since they were placed with us ~ it's tripled (in my humble opinion) since husband died.

    While we treated the anxiety with therapy & medications (as needed) I never fed into their anxieties. I helped them look up information on their greatest fears; we taught self calming, used behavioral modification & tdocs implemented EMDR.

    When kt & wm mention a fear I just google it & find the most appropriate response to that fear. It may not work in your difficult children situation but it's sure worth a try.

    I never ever let the tweedles see me sweat ~ never. I responded in a very calm, almost cruel tone of voice to their fears. If I wasn't concerned they shouldn't be concerned. It's a tough act but it helps.

    In the meantime, I'd set up a reward system of sorts for staying in school all day. For overcoming a fear or using self calming to get thru an episode of high anxiety.

    You do need a break ~ it's time to do something for you. So do you want to meet midway between the TCs & your area for lunch & coffee one day? I'll be more available with kt in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    Take care, lady
  17. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you all again! Your support means alot. I just lost sight of the process. It is good to be reminded again of what I need to be looking for and how to proceed.

    Marg - yes, balance is the key. I think I get uncertain myself of the balance. I get tired of always having to choose my words so that they are just right - not too harsh/uncaring, not too soft/feeding into the anxiety. I am impatient - wanting the answers and results quicker. When I don't see any results, I tend to think I am doing something wrong. I have to remind myself to give it time - lots of time - slow and steady goes the course.

    Linda - I would love to meet you somewhere. PM me to let me know what suburb you live in. Looks like I will be taking a solo trip down there May 1st to attend a scrapbooking workshop in Ham Lake. I don't know that I should go down Friday, April 30th as that is my anniversary. Maybe husband and I can do a late lunch and I leave from there? The more I am thinking about this, the more I think I will give my Sunday School class to someone that morning and not rush home Saturday night.