I'm feeling desperate

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ali1984, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Ali1984

    Ali1984 New Member

    I'm not sure if this forum is the right place to come, but other people's stories seemed so familiar and I have nowhere left to turn.

    Some background:

    Before we met my husband had a child. The birth mother has mental health issues (including Borderline (BPD), depression & addictions) and drank alcohol and used drugs throughout pregnancy. Their daughter was born at 31 weeks and was in hospital for a month before being taken home. At 3 months old the birth mum decided she didn't want the baby and threatened to kill her if they didn't "put her into care". My husband left with the baby, moved several hundred miles away and started afresh.
    I met my husband when his daughter was 1 and moved in with them when she was three. From age four, when I got a residence order (custody) in my name, she has called me mummy and I refer to her as my daughter. She hasn't seen her birth mum since she left at 3 months but I have told her a few things about her.
    As with all children she had her tantrums when she was pre-school age, but these have continued and intensified, now she is nearly 9 and they are un-manageable. We have tried everything to manage her behaviour but whatever we do she is filled with rage. Rewards and punishments have no impact on her at all whether they be charts, treats, days out, naughty step... nothing at all works. She is constantly disrespectful to us, calls us names, destroys our things, is violent towards us, refuses to do anything she's told, tells lies. This behaviour is only at home, and never in front of guests. When we spoke to her school teachers about it at every meeting over the past three years they are astounded as she is so polite and happy at school. At her grandparents' houses she is a dream, if friends come over she is wonderful. But the very second there is no-one watching it's like she's possessed.
    We have been referred to group anger management who said they couldn't help her, we battled with our GP who thought we were over-reacting until he referred us to CAMHS to see a consultant paediatrician. After 3 brief meetings with him over the past year he says there is nothing they can do.

    Well now I'm broken and lost. I am 6 weeks away from having a baby (unplanned) but I had hoped that this would bring us together as a family. The bad behaviour has gotten worse and worse to the point now where I can't see things working out. I love my husband, and I want to love our daughter, but I don't think she wants to be a family. I'm scared to be around her at all because I feel like I'm being bullied. Of course it's partly hormones, but there isn't a day over the past two weeks when she hasn't reduced me to tears. I don't think I can live with her anymore. No-one will help us and I don't know what to do.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have two ideas of what could be wrong, neither easy to fix and one unable to be fixed but can be managed if you are very much aware of where she is at all times. in my opinion this happened in her mother's uterus since her birth mother took drungs and drank while pregnant and I know many people who adopted kids who had similar histories and the accompanying problems you state. I am thinking of fetal alcohol spectrum...it is organic brain damage from the drugs/alcohol and a specialist should be seen to diagnose. Just any old therapist won't do. Must be somebody who understands this sad, preventable disorder. Theses kids, at their worst, do not understand right from wrong nor do they learn from discipline. We adopted a boy who we thought might have it, but fortunately it was autism (another possibility) and he is doing well. You need INTENSIVE testing to see what's up and what you can do.
    Take a look at attachment disorder too. This is not her fault nor yours nor can you alone fix it with the normal type of therapy. This happens when a child lives a chaotic infancy to three and loses their birthparent and the drugs don't help.
    I wish you well. This is not easy.
    When you have your baby, please don't leave her alone without being near you or your husband. You don't know what's going on or what your older child will do. Better to be safe than sorry.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  3. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Hello @Ali1984

    You are trying to do the right thing for this young girl. It has to be very frustrating to seek professional help and be told that there is nothing they can do.

    I just wanted to let you know that I have read your post and understand how stressed out you must be.
  4. Ali1984

    Ali1984 New Member

    Thankyou for your replies.

    Somwhereoutthere - we mentioned both of those conditions to the consultant and he said no to both. We especially mentioned fetal alcohol several times and he was adamant we are wrong.

    We have booked ourselves into some family counselling at the end of this week buy I honestly don't know if it will help.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How does he know you are wrong? Testing intensively is the only way to tell. Some fetal kids don't "look" fetal alcohol. What is a consultant?? Do you live outside the U.S. maybe? If so maybe someone from your country has ideas about who to see. In the U.S. the main "go-to" professional for diagnosing is often a neuropsychologist (which is NOT a neurologist).I would get the opinion of a very high level professional, not just a counselor.We had horrible luck with lower level professionals, such as counselors. They really don't have the training to diagnose. Neuropsychs and psychiatrists do.
    We were given wrong diagnoses a lot. It's very hard. Once we got the right diagnosis. we went up fast. Don't accept from ANYONE that there is nothing you can do. Go UP the ladder for help.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Brief meetings are not an evaluation. Somehow, you need an intensive evaluation - the kind that take 8-10 hours, usually over several days, and include questionaires for teachers and parents too. Sometimes it's done by a single professional, such as a neuro-psychologist, or a PhD-level psychologist with a specialty in testing. Sometimes, it's a team approach, often used in children's hospitals or teaching hospitals associated with a major university. Is there any way you would have access to a children's hospital, for example?
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Ali,
    I am so very,very sorry for your troubles, and you are pregnant too, what a difficult situation you and hubby are facing.
    I have not experienced this, but was thinking, documentation is important, especially since your daughter only exhibits this behavior alone with you folks, in your home.

    Is there a way you can set up a hidden camera, to capture this?
    It may help a professional to get a better picture of what is going on in your home.

    I may be way off base, just a thought.

    Do take care, my goodness, this is tough.

  8. Tired and Hopeful

    Tired and Hopeful New Member

    Ali...I think New Leaf has a very good idea and I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of getting a full blown evaluation. The video would be great documentation as well. Hugs to you and so sorry for the stress you are going through. I cannot imagine being told that a problem is not fixable....somebody, somewhere, knows better, I hope.