I think I'm just numb

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    difficult child 2 is now seeing the same therapist as difficult child. After he B and moaned about going and spatting that he is only going this one time, he liked her and wanted to schedule another appointment.

    difficult child was talking to difficult child 2 about her and she said that therapist makes her mad sometimes, but that she likes her.

    And all I could think was that when *I* make difficult child mad (which isn't hard to do), I'm a horrible mother, yada, yada, yada.

    I just walked away. I don't think I can handle being the target anymore. But, then there's this part of me that just really doesn't care.

    I have an appointment with therapist in 30 minutes and I don't think I want to talk about difficult child at all.

    Does that make me horrible?
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Not at all. (((Hugs))) I hope it's a productive appointment for you.
  3. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Nope, it makes you human. When you put sooooo much time and energy into a difficult child, sometimes you just feel like saying, "Hey! What about me?!"

    Hope it goes well. Hugs.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Not horrible. Just tired. And tired of being tired.

    How did the appointment go?
  5. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    No it does not make you horrible. I am there with husband right now. When I think of husband I just think why should I care?

    Sometimes it is hard to give and give and give while someone just takes and takes and takes. It hoovers the life right out of you.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nope not horrible at all! Sending hugs your way.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, she probably says she hates the therapist too. I never bothered to count the number of times my kids said, "I hate you!" You've got to waterproof your back, so it's like a duck's. Don't let it penetrate to your skin. Don't wear it. Because tey're not meaning YOU, they're meaning someone else. And they're not meaning, "hate", they're meaning, "I am frustrated because I want this and you wo't let me."
    And they're telling you, because they know you love them and they know that telling you this hurts you and they're angry.

    So the more you show them that it hurts, the more tyey will continue to do this when they want to hurt you.

    Do you want it to stop? Then do your best to not let the hurt show.

    The best insulation you can have, is to not need their love in order to feel that you are a good mother. You ARE a good mother, you do not need their constant validation to prove this. If anything, the "I hate you"s are part of this validation.

    A child who is always loving, always well-behaved, always dutiful - is a child who is confined, disempowered, afraid, inhibited. Yourchild is open in her expression. OK, inappropriate - but she IS a child, has some (mental) growing to do.

    Just be there. Shove food in their direction occasionally. Get on with your own hobbies and have your own interests too. Love yourself. It's OK.

    It will work out. Just grab onto our hands for a while and get some strength back.

  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    No... you aren't horrible. And, by the way, you're also a great mother. :winks: I hope the appointment went well.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Well, I ended up talking about difficult child the entire time anyway. :whiteflag:

    BUT, I didn't talk about how difficult child is doing and all that. I talked about how difficult child is effecting ME. And trust me, I *completely* unloaded.

    Marg, it's not the "I hate you". That doesn't bother me. It is the repeated - and after she's calmed down and NOT in the heat of the moment and wants to talk - sessions of criticism about how I'm a horrible mother, how she's miserable here, how I don't listen to her or care about her feelings, how I've never done anything for her, yada, yada, yada. It's the same thing every time.

    Thank you for no thinking I'm horrible. :)
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, hold onto your sanity (and you did good, talking about how difficult child affects you - that's what counsellors are for).

    It doesn't make much difference if she says it in the heat of the moment or not. The thing is, the more she says it, the less responsibility SHE has to feel, for not obeying you. And the more you let it upset you, the more she feels justified and the more she will keep doing it. Because it makes HER feel good.

    The long-term problem with this (from the point of view of her welfare) is, if she learns to make herself feel good by putting down her critics, then she will get herself into a long-term coping strategy of never being willing or able to learn from her own shortcomings. Instead of recognising when she hasput a foot wrong socially, she will instead be in the habit of blaming it all on the other party.

    I used to work for someone like this. Whenever there was a problem, or a client complained about her, my boss's response would be, "Loser!"
    Often the complaints were well and truly justified, but the boss could always walk away from any personal responsibility with one word. "Loser."

    I have no doubt that when I left (well before I became the inevitable scapegoat, because she had fired everyone else and had nobody left to be her fall guy) I was followed out the door with the word, "Loser."

    So Heather, I suggest you get your head together with your therapist and find ways to de-fuse your daughter's hatefulness. Do not meet it with obstinacy or open defiance becausee a big part of this behaviour from her is pure oppositional. Sometimes finding ways to agree with her can work well - it's like a tog of war with someone when you suddenly change your direction with the rope so fast that they fall over, purely from their own efforts.

    "Yes, I AM a bad mother. I smoke, I drink way too much so I'm unconscious under the kitchen table by 10 am. I sleep with every bloke I meet including every tradesman who comes through the door. I encourage them to take their pleasure with my daughter, since I don't really care about her either. I never put food on the table or make sure my kids are dressed warmly enough. I certainly don't pay any attention to their medical needs. Why would I bother to do that? It costs money which I need to spend on my illicit drug use and all-night partying."

    Heather, your difficult child is at a difficult age for ANY girl, it's just a lot worse when they have difficult child-ness on top of it all. The total self-centredness of them at this age is breathtaking.
    They become emotional sponges, you could pour absolutely every resource into them, listen to them for 23 hours and 59 minutes of every day but as soon as you open your mouth to say one word, it's, "You never listen to me."

    Ask your counsellor for help in devleoping strategies. There are some. WHat difficult child needs, is a lesson in perspective. I suspect you do too, but in a very different way. Your perspective - you need to see yourself in the spectrum of all parents, how good a job you are doing and how to keep your own sense of self in this, as a gift to your children. And her sense of perspective - the world does not (and never will) revolve around her. And the sooner she learns this, the sooner she will learn how to live a good and productive life in this world.

    One thought occurs to me - how about you deal with one issue at a time? Write down her list of complaints. Ask her to write out the list, she MUST own them. Do not deny any of them (no matter how unfair). The best way to answer them is to demonstrate and document, by formally putting in place what you already do without thinking.

    Deal with each issue one at a time.

    Listening - agree with her that half an hour of you listening to her, at a set time, HAS to be better than you NEVER listening. So write it into your diaries, both of you - you will listen to her each day from 4 pm tp 4.30 pm (you choose a time that will fit in with what has to be done in your lives, both of you - MAKE THIS WORK). Make a formal listening time. Milk and cookies time. During that time, at least in the iitial stages, you must not be doing anything else. No stirring thre saucepan for dinner, no making a cup of tea. Same with her - she needs to sit down, not doing anything else, and talk. No judgements, no tellnig her she's doing it wrong. Just listen. Every so often, feed back to her so she knows you're on board. "Just let me check if I'm getting what you're saying, honey - you're angry with Carly because she said your hair looked like corkscrews, and said it to four other girls in front of the boy you really like? Did I get that right?"
    Do nothing more than help her tell her story to you.

    If she has trouble talking or getting started, asking her questions about herself is a good way to get started. "Tell me about your day," is a good start.

    I remember reading a magazine from the 60s, on how to get a boy to like you. The information was very useful, the most informative bit of advice was, "get him talking about yourself. Have a few questions prepared to get him started. It doesn't matter if you don't get to say anything - he will be so busy talking about himself that he will have a wonderful time with you and want more. And he won't have found out anything about you, and again, will want the chance to find out more. When a guy spends all night talking about himself, he will go home thinking, 'she was avery interesting person, I really enjoyed myself tonight.' Guys always like to talk about themselves."

    The article was incredibly sexist, but that much was true - people (especially really selfish, egocentric people, which describes just about all teenagers) always prefer to talk about themselves, given the opportunity.

    For your daughter, it's a starting point.

    One more thing - if all she says, over and over, is "You're a bad moter" and more on the same theme, gently remind her that you have set aside only half an hour and she doesn't want to waste it by repeating a message you have already received, with bells on. You've heard that one, thank you, now what else is there that she needs you to hear? Because the accusation, "you never listen" is going to take a lot of half-hour sessions to remedy a lifetime of your not listening, so she needs to use every minute efficiently.

    And while you're gritting your teeth at the unfairness of it all, this nasty constant criticism coming from your own child (who is far from faultless) then keep in mind, in letter of fire, the fridge magnet that says to our kids, "Teenagers of the world - leave home now, while you still know everything."

    One day she will know better. And hopefully, remember what you did for her after what she said - and hopefully, she will cringe.

  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    She already does this and always has. It's part of Borderline Personality.

    That is exactly what therapist said to do - without all the detail. Just agree with her. Deflate her balloon.

    She even took something the therapist said completely out of context and told me that even therapist "says I don't handle hearing bad things about myself very well." OMG. I'm not sure why I didn't have a stroke right then and there. therapist and I did talk about that today and she was blown away how she twisted her words. And not much surprises therapist when it comes to difficult child.

    I could go on about other things, but, frankly, I don't want to and it would be a novel anyway.

    I *know* I'm a good mom. It's the constant criticism from her - that I consider verbal abuse - that makes me not want to be around her - to the point that some days I don't even want her in my house.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Heather, you're doing the best you can. I agree, sometimes it really does feel like abuse. We went through a bad patch with easy child 2/difficult child 2 where I was cringing just about every time she opened her mouth.

    At the moment I'm amazed at just how fast she has grown up, and how far.

    As for your difficult child's Borderline (BPD) - all you can do, is all you can do. She's got a better than average chance of turning out OK purely because you ARE doing as much as you have been.

    Here's hoping she does better than my former boss did. From what difficult child said to the therapist, there's hope for her yet.

  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You really have to develop a thick skin with a Borderline (BPD) kid. That doesn't mean it doesn't still sting sometimes (to put it mildly.. more like it sends you on the verge of breaking something. You also learn to never take what your difficult child says at face value... the story is never quite right .. I'm always wondering, "is that what really happened?" My Oldest used to make up the most bizarre stories of what someone had said to her about me, or things she'd done. I began to learn to never take it seriously. I also developed a warped sense of humor about it all, I've found that a sense of humor can get me through just about anything (even if some people look at me like I'm nuts when I crack jokes during times of crisis). All of that took a lot of practice, however.

    I'm glad you were able to vent in therapy... that was my another coping mechanism for me, to be sure. Journaling was crucial for me... both from a cathartic, dumping sort of standpoint, and from a documentation standpoint. It always helped to looke back at my journal entries about Oldest's escapades, to sometimes find that things could be MUCH worse, and that the latest episode wasn't as bad as some others. Perspective and all that.

    Anyway.. just wanted you to know that I "get it." Hugs.
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. Just try to remember how skewed and messed up her thought patterns can be. It is not you.

    Repeat after me, it is not me, it is not me, it is not me.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    BUT, I didn't talk about how difficult child is doing and all that. I talked about how difficult child is effecting ME. And trust me, I *completely* unloaded.

    Excellent. That's what you're there for. How she is affecting you. I am so glad you went. It's your session and you can talk about whatever you want.

    I know the feeling of constantly being berated. I also know that your daughter is much more difficult than my son. I feel for you.

    If there's any way you can pretend she is a TV program but you're unable to turn the channel, try to do that. I often do that with-my son to try to detach. Sometimes I count. Sometimes I focus on a tree or a painting. You know the focal point people are supposed to have during childbirth? That sort of thing.