I'm new and really, really in need of advice...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by someday, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. someday

    someday Guest

    My daughter has some disturbing behaviors that have me so worn out that I just don't know what to do anymore. Maybe if I just "get it out" I'll be able to see things more clearly and gain some much needed wisdom along the way!

    She is 14, in the 8th grade, and is failing all subjects. She has no learning disabilities and she is intelligent and capable of suceeding at grade level or above. Her grades have gone up and down drastically over the years. The conclusion from her teachers/admin. is that it's a choice, not her abilities. Nothing my husband and I do seems to work, recently. Incentives/rewards (of any kind) or punishment (losing privelages, etc.) do not affect her. Her teachers and principal have explained to her (as we have) that there's a big possibility that she won't go to High School next year. She wants to go but does nothing to change her situation.

    The grade thing is just the tip of the iceberg. I can't quite figure out what exactly it is that is wrong though. She's always presented the attitude that the world owes her something. She has a way of turning every situation around so people feel sorry for her in some way. She lies so often that my husband and I cannot believe her about anything. She has no close friends, only acquaintences. She's often mean to other kids and her brother. She's even been physical with a few kids. When she was eight she hit a nine year old boy with Cerebal Palsy in the face because he was in her way and couldn't move fast enough because of his disability. In 7th grade she slapped a friend across the face because the girl irritated her by saying "I don't deserve a lab partner". She hurt my mom's 60lb dog because he jumped in her seat when she got out of the vehicle for a minute. She just hauled off and belted him so hard that he crashed to the floor and yipped and squealed with pain. She showed no remorse for any of these incidents.

    Again, just the tip of the iceberg. I honestly don't know where to start. I'm just letting randomness out because I don't know what else to do. Nothing is ever enough for her. No amount of time, money, love, etc. When she receives a gift she immediately finds a subtle way to express that it's not good enough. Everything is a struggle, a mind game. I question myself a million times before I even speak. I have never had anyone (and certainly not a child) to mess with my mind like this. She creeps and sneaks around at night and listens to every word that is said by day and night. She seldom sleeps. Her lies are often so convincing and her actions so covert that adults question themselves and others. Some lies are trivial and there could be no reason to lie about such things and others are so damaging that I wonder who could even think such things!

    She just sits in her room waiting for something to happen. I used to think she was waiting to be entertained and would go to great lenghts to spend time with her, to make up for whatever I had done to let her down. Always, in a matter of minutes she cuts me to the bone with sarcastic criticism or does something to get me to respond with irritation or defensiveness. I don't know how she does it but it's always in a manner that makes it next to impossible to hold her accountable, something that could be explained away by a normal occurance and I just look and feel like a jerk for being offended. I continue to try although I must hold back emotionally to protect myself.

    Often it's her 10 year old, Autistic brother that is manipulated into losing control or just totally shutting down. He once told me that a face that she made at him (I didn't even see her do it, he replicated it though) meant that she was going to get him. It's almost like they have a hidden second language at times. Both children are adopted (daughter was 7, DS was 3). They are biological siblings and related to me. She's even told me before that she believes that she can "control his behavior" and that she could "make her brother act bad and get them taken away". She honestly believes that's what she did before.

    Lately, her behavior has been more extreme. We got her a laptop for Christmas and that turned out to be enlightening in the worst kind of way. We've talked about internet safety and house rules and what's expected of her for years. She has completed internet safety programs at school for at least the last three years. We have parental control software (Norton Safety Minder) installed on the laptop and on the family room computer that she's used for years. She knows it's there and how it works. If she goes to a site that isn't appropriate or does anything that goes against the "rules" Norton will block it with a friendly pop-up that lets her go back to what she was doing or email Mom that she would like to visit that page. She and I set up her email account together and she knows that I might take a quick glance from time to time.

    Well, the parental software started sending me a ton of email alerts regarding attempted access to porn sites. I check that email address a couple of times a week so it took me a day or two to log in to the parental software and find out the details. In those few days she googled searches for sexually explicit acts that would make the filthiest of perverts blush! She tried to sign up for numerous online "hook-up" and "date local singles" sites. She created several youtube accounts that violated their terms and youtube had shut down. The parental software blocked most, but not all of her attempts. She saved pics of naked women to the hard drive on the laptop. My husband and I are absolutely crushed and that's not even the worst of it!

    She was allowed to IM with some friends from school through her email. I thought it best that I look in her account to see if she had gotten through the parental software and actually registered on any of these sites. What I found in her IM records was so hurtful and damaging. She told the most awful lies, and many about ME! I couldn't believe she would say such things!

    She only had two girls in her contacts and it appears that one of them didn't want anything to do with her. That girl would always log off or ignore difficult child's requests to chat. She would chat with the other girl about music, boys, and school stuff. Then she started to pick at the girl, mess with her head. The girl stood her ground and didn't take any **** but showed fairness and compassion. difficult child kept throwing in the "I'm adopted" thing and this girl told difficult child that it made her uncomfortable and she didn't know what to say.

    Over the next few days difficult child began to say random, shocking things. She told the girl that I made her watch "love scenes" in a movie and tried to start a conversation about it. The girl didn't bite and a few days later difficult child said, "OMG, my mom just burst into my room and asked me if I mastur***** and if I knew how!" The girl told her how weird it was and she would pray for my difficult child and that she had to go! It just gets worse over the next couple of nights and their conversations ended the same way. The last one was "OMG, my mom just came into my room with a di**o and cond**s and told me it was fun and to give it a try!" The girl was totally disgusted and told her I must have mental problems. Then difficult child proceeded to say, "I know, I am soooooooooo scared! My mom is crazy!"

    I am horrified, humiliated and deeply hurt. I would never do or say anything like that. Needless to say, my husband and I sat her down to discuss this ASAP. The thing that caught me so off guard was that she wasn't nervous or embarassed. She seemed irritated at us. I had printed it out and asked her to read the conversation outloud so she could hear how awful it sounded. She read it without the hesitation, regret or a shred of embarassment. I would have wanted to ground to swallow me whole if I had to read/say such filthy things in front of my parents! Especially my dad! Especially if I had said those horrible things about my MOM!

    We took the cell phone and laptop away for a month. Her grades were A's, B's and C's until this incident. Now she's failing all classes. We didn't give her privelages back due to the grades. She says she's trying and her teachers all say she is quite capable of doing the work. It's almost as if we must now pay and suffer for taking the privelages to begin with. Every minute of every day my head spins and my heart hurts. I am so tired of the constant lies and endless head games. If difficult child were anyone else in my life I would just walk away and never look back. She is my child and that is not my option. What does one do if their child is malicous and seems to enjoy it? We've tried the counseling and therapy thing and difficult child has just chewed them up and spit them out. If anyone has any advice on how to do the best job possible raising our difficult child, without getting eaten alive, it will be greatly appreciated.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, even before you brought up the information, I was thinking "Is she adopted?" I have adopted many times, so I have a few questions. Also, I wonder if you are away of Reactive Attachment Disorder mostly seen in kids who have had chaotic early lives without a consistent caregiver...older adopted kids are a challenge and sometimes a VERY difficult challenge. They never could rely on anyone but themselves. Is love enough? Not always. Often with older adoptees they are used to not trusting adults and have developed serious, deep inbreed qualities of coping by only worrying about themselves. The idea of love can even scare them...some don't want love or can't feel love themselves. It could be she is not really thinking of you and her father as her parents. We had this experience with an older foster child. It was horrible.

    Has she ever seen an Adoption Therapist who understands the unique issues of kids who had no stabiity as infants and toddlers? If not, the therapist will probably not be helpful.

    I hate to say this, but if she turns you into CPS with false allegations, you could get into serious legal trouble. This child is not the same as a child you raise from birth. Anyhooooo...

    1/Are there ANY psychiatric disorders OR substance abuse issues on either side of her genetic family tree? Did her birthmother drink during this child's pregnancy. That in of itself can cause fetal alcohol issues, which would explain a lot. Often kids inherit characteristics from their biological parents...after all, they inherit their genetics from them.

    2/How was her early development? With her brother on the autism spectrum, she could very well have a higher functioning form of autism too...one not as easily identified as his.

    3/Who has evaluated her? I wouldn't trust "the teachers." They can't know if she has any Learning Disability (LD)'s or not. I'd take her to a good NeuroPsycholgist...in the opinion of many here, they do the best evaluations because they test FOR EVERYTHING.

    4/Is she charming to strangers but awful to you? Make poor eye contact? Does she pee or poop inappropriately, hurt animals, or start any fires (or have a fascination with fire). These are just some of the symptoms of attachment disorder...and it can be very serious if she doesn't get attachment therapy early and often. But I'd still have her see a neuropsychologist first.

    5/Are you 100% sure she isn't using recreational drugs or drinking or both?

    You took on a lot and have your hands full. Welcome to the board. Others will come along.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Be sure to keep those print outs in a safe place where she can not access them.

    A month is not long enough. She should not have internet access for a few years. I would inform the school of this as well. And you have to check up on that every month or so - because they do not necessarily ensure your child is not on the internet - they just do not give her a sign on. I know this from experience. My difficult child would just get other peoples sign ons. It is so dangerous to have a child this unpredictable on the internet. Dangerous for the entire family.

    I was thinking the same thing as MWM - attachment disorders for adopted children are very common. Does she have contact with bio parents at all? You mentioned it was a family adoption.
  4. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Welcome ~ You have found the right place for understanding -
  5. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I am sorry you are going thru this. Many hugs. I wish I had some good advice for you!!!!
  6. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Hi, Just wanted to welcome you. Your post sounded so much like what my friend is going through with her adopted daughter. You have taken on a lot and I wish you well. Keep posting. Many here can offer advice about your situation and all of us can offer sympathy and support.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Definitely inform the school about her inappropriate use of chat and internet. Your home monitoring is clearly catching most of her activities. But schools are generally far more lax. Kids at school collectively are more effective at beating a school's internet blocking. I remember at our local school where I used to run an after-hours class, some of the kids got onto the class computer and actually showed me the stuff they'd downloaded - it was shocking! Similar to the stuff you describe. And this was the equivalent of an elementary school, the oldest of these kids was 11. These kids were Grade 5, it was in their Grade 5 classroom. I politely observed, said nothing then next day went to the school to report what I had seen, to the technology teacher.

    So in this case - definitely let the school know.

    Where did your daughter learn about such things? How did she learn about such things? If your net nanny is as effective as it seems, then it wasn't at home. THAT is what I would want to know.

    As for the horrible things she's saying about you - they are so off the wall they don't seem believable. I doubt either of the girls who chatted to her, really believe it.

    BUT - a big concern here. This girl sounds very familiar to me. I've 'met' her before, in the form of a classmate of easy child 2/difficult child 2's when they were in Grade 7. This girl, S, attached herself to easy child 2/difficult child 2 and her group of friends. Because easy child 2/difficult child 2 is more loyal than she should be and felt sorry for S, easy child 2/difficult child 2 soon found her other friends avoiding her because of S.
    Interesting point here - S had a younger brother who was autistic. S's brother was quite profoundly autistic, although I did wonder if he could have done better with some intervention.

    S's mother had given up. She didn't try to control her daughter in any way. She let the boy roam the house doing whatever he wanted. he was fascinated with white powdery stuff and would find whatever it was in the pantry or cupboards and pour it all over the table. Mum would get up in the morning and find the table covered with coconut, salt, sugar, flour, talcum powder. He would scream if she tried to clean it up so she left it. She also left the potty, often full, in the living room. He was about 10 years old.

    S was a big problem. I didn't realise it the first time we invited her to stay over for a weekend. Boy, was it rough! Tantrums, very childish ones, when it was time to go home. She had to go home because we'd previously arranged to go visit family in hospital, we'd planned it into the schedule and arranged at the beginning of the weekend for her mother to collect her at that time. Mum turned up, daughter threw a tantrum. WE were the ones who had to be politely firm, Mum wanted S to be allowed to come with us after all.

    I used to think that S's behaviour problems were due to poor parenting. But I've since seen the possible connection to having another child in the family with autism. I do wonder if there was a sort of "missed" autism in the badly behaved sibling. Girls do express Asperger's differently.

    Where this worried me - S would lie. A lot. Badly. Really bad, obvious lies that anyone could catch her out on. But she could be really inventive in trying to perpetuate the lie, and that is NOT typical of autism. S told the girls at school that her boyfriend was X, the member of a popular US-based teen pop group at the time. Similar to a girl today saying her boyfriend is Robert Pattinson. Of course the girls all said, "Yeah, whatever..." and walked away. But she said, "I can prove it. He wrote me a love letter."
    So next day she brought to school a letter clearly written on note paper the other girls had seen as belonging to her (pink with hearts on it) and written with a gold glittery pen the girls knew she owned. The letter was written in handwriting easy child 2/difficult child 2 recognised as S's, and signed with what looked very much like X's signature - but S had a pop group poster on the wall complete with (printed on) signatures. She declared X had hand-delivered the letter and they'd made love all night. Meanwhile the radio, TV and magazine gossip columns are all talking about where X was (in the US) and whether their group would tour Australia. No way would he pop in incognito to Sydney to see an infatuated 13 yo girl!

    The lies were very detailed (not typical of Asperger's) but so very easy to unravel (more typical). But her investment in the lies - she obviously had made them up herself, but desperately seemed to need to believe in them and to be believed.

    S dropped out of school before she turned 14. I don't know how she slid past the truant officers. She was pregnant before she was 15. I bump into S's mother from time to time (when I don't see her coming first and manage to duck into a side alley) and so I keep abreast with family events. The autistic son was removed from the home and has done a lot better academically since. Mum gets to see him occasionally but doesn't really care. Very sad - she never knew what her son was capable of, she never helped him in any way and so he never had the therapy he needed.
    S had her baby. Moved in with a guy for a while, who was about 50. left him to move back home when she was about 16. Last I heard - S is living with someone else, has left her baby (now 10 years old) with her mother. Mum is having a lovely time playing dress-ups with her granddaughter.

    Mum also used to want to dump S on us so she could go away with whichever guy she had picked up that weekend. She never had the same guy for long. She conned me a few times into taking the kids, including times when I had clearly said "No, I can't, I'm too ill." And I had meant it. Mum turned up anyway, even when I said "I'm bedridden, and my husband has a sprained ankle." And it was true. She turned up, she saw it was true, and she STILL tried to leave her kids with us (including the out of control autistic son).

    I strongly suspect S had been sexually abused, maybe repeatedly, by various boyfriends of her mother's. S was a beautiful girl, very sensual good looks (without any need to enhance them by dressing tarty). She really was a very adult-looking young girl. And her mother did not supervise at all.

    I look back on all this, Someday, and now I wonder if perhaps I've been too hard on S's mum. Maybe there wasn't anything more she could have done. S sounds so much like your daughter, it is scary.

    I do still wonder, though, about the roll-on effect genetically of autism in the family. It presents differently in girls and if that is mixed with past sexual abuse, it could account for her obsession with matters sexual now. Kids on the spectrum can become very obsessive about certain topics. If sex happens to be what her obsession has been tuned into (thanks to past abuse) then not only is she a very damaged girl, but she is in big trouble and needs perhaps more than psychiatry can give.

    On the possible plus side - when I've met S's mother, she tells me how well Si is doing. She's gone back to school and is working towards getting her diploma. having a child gave her a sense of responsibility, someone else she had to learn to care for. Yes, she was too young, but she was never going to make anything of herself until she had to learn to care for someone else.

    But then - I'm hearing this only from S's mother, who I know to be a liar.

    I don't know if you can find any information of use in this story, I hope you can. We managed to extricate ourselves from S and her family, it really did a lot of damage to easy child 2/difficult child 2 socially. So I don't know much more detail. But maybe something in there rings a bell for you, can give you the end of a ball of thread in the maze and help you follow it to a bit more light.

  8. someday

    someday Guest

    Thank you so much for your reply. Yes, I did a little research on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) years ago, shortly after adoption. Her therapist didn't see any significant symptoms at that time. She appeared to be adjusting well at that point. She was much younger and we were possibly in our "honeymoon" phase. There was so much positive attention on her and we were very naive (first time parents) that we excused and explained away a great deal of her lies and behaviors. Her personality had not matured, too. I do think Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) could still be a possibility. I need to read up on it again. Her therapist has worked with CPS (we call it DSS) for years and does have experience with adopted/foster kids. We haven't seen her in a couple of years though because my daughter was doing well. Honestly, I think we overlooked a lot in those early years looking back. And during that time our son was being diagnosed and it took(takes) a tremendous amount of energy to get him on track (I could go on for years explaining this part...I'm sure you understand though) and he was very ill physically for years and hospitalized several times.

    I do think she sees us as her parents based on the fact that she very seldom brings up the bios (no contact, our choice because of their mental intstability, drug use, etc. - I just don't know how a child would trust us as parents if we had visitation with the people that abused and neglected them. So many do have visists and it baffles me, that's another topic...sorry.) When she does talk about them it's always negative (I listen without chiming in too much, tell her that they are HER feelings and she's entitled to feel however and that her feelings might change and to let me know if she changes her mind about needing to see them.) I never really know what she's thinking or feeling though and I will keep my eyes open in regards to how she might not see us as her parents.

    I am very concerned about her saying something that will be reported to DSS and I have moderate concerns that she would call them herself. Do you have any experience in this? Is there anything we can do to protect ourselves? I honestly think she said those things about me for shock value. She had been picking at the girl and then trying to get her to engage in discussion about boys, etc. and the girl just didn't want to go there. Who knows.

    In regards to your questions:

    1. Yes, there is a huge history of mental illness and drug addiction on both sides. Especially, the maternal side. Bio. mom is my 1st cousin, my mom and her dad are siblings. I hardly knew that side of the family, so I don't have a ton of details. I'm pretty sure that when the kids were taken the bio. mom was diagnosed with bipolar. I do wish I had the details! Also, her mother, mother's siblings (except for one sister) and both parents were mentally ill. It's possible that she drank during pregnancy though I'm not aware of that being the case and DSS did not document it. I will definitely do some research on this.

    2. DSS provided us nothing on the children's early development. The family information I know is very limited. I did obtain her school records (not very detailed I gotta say) and she had mild behavior problems and slight learning delays. Nothing too out of the ordinary for a kindergartener and her first experience with school. She did repeat kindergarten. She did great in first and second grade and the problems have increased gradually from there. I think almost all of her teachers over the years have treated her with "kid gloves". They let things slide that they wouldn't have if it had been another student.

    3. Yes, it was the school that did the evaluations. She's a very smart girl and has the ability to score well on testing if she chooses. She was on a 9th grade reading level at the beginning of 2nd grade. She typically has pretty good control over her behavior and has only had the few public "slip ups" so she wasn't tested extensively for psychiatric problems. The things she does publically are all things that could easily be explained as typical or minor. I honestly don't think it's Autism/Asperger's but I don't want to miss anything. I have had this thought before. I have a wonderful Neuropsychologist that diagnosed our son. I'll call him next week.

    4. She is very charming to everyone (me and hubby included) when she chooses. I would say around 98% of the time she conducts herself as the perfect child. She doesn't scream, yell or hit...except for that 2% of the time that slips through. Normally, her behavior comes out through back-handed comments, notes, emails/IM's, etc. or she'll do something to punish us. Like, all the lipsticks in my purse will be broken and smooshed without any evidence of it even being opened. The front door will somehow be unlocked and left wide open in the middle of the night. Dolls and toys will be dismembered and put in the closet. Her brother will cry out in pain and when I run to see what happened he won't speak and has red marks on his face or arms or legs. Bread, chips and other unopened food in the pantry will be smooshed and holes poked in it. There is always, always one cheese nip in the kitchen floor beside the snack cabinet. I pick it up several times a day. I ask her to pick it up (though she will never claim dropping it) and it ALWAYS comes back! If I don't buy cheese nips it will be something else. I could go on and on and on and on. It is maddening. If I don't catch her in the act how can I hold her accountable for such? That is what she'll remind me. I know it sounds trivial, most days I pick the dang cheese nip up and never let on, but it is straight up manipulation. Any way I go she has caused me to change my course and possibly gotten me upset in the process. All day long every day, little things that aren't done openly. If I get mad I might slam a door, yell or cry to make myself heard (or just to hear myself), call my mama and vent or even write a letter TO the person that I'm upset with. I would welcome any of the above from my daughter. Sorry, back to answering your questions. Eye contact is fairly normal. Sometimes in public she'll stand behind me, my hubby or my mom and make a strange or scared face (odd). She looks at you when conversating though. If she's offended she'll glare a hole straight through you! She does have issues with hygiene. She doesn't use toilet paper. If I mention that "gee, it's been a while since I put toilet paper in your bathroom, let me get you some...) to kinda give her a hint that it's obvious that she's not using it, she'll use the whole couple of rolls in a few hours. Same with soap, shampoo and her acne medication that we got from the dermatologist. She'll swear she's washing her hair, etc. but the shampoo will sit at the same level for weeks and we could fry chicken in her hair it's so greasy. I've tried everything. You'd think that at 14 1/2 y.o. she'd care about her appearance. It certainly doesn't affect her self-esteem. She flirts with young and old alike. She refuses to wear make up or do anything with her hair and yet she carries herself like a runway model (and guys take notice). Yes, she does like to burn things on lamps and light bulbs, etc. She was 13 y.o. before we could let her have a desk lamp. She has hit and kicked our dogs repeatedly. Usually when she thought she was alone. Our dogs are big (and sweet) so she hasn't hurt them badly.

    5. 99% (I've learned never to say never) sure she's not using drugs or drinking. Mainly because we have such a structured and scheduled enviornment. Mainly to help our son (and us) though partly because she has problems maintaining friendships. Also, when she was 12 she went to the 9 y.o. neighbor's birthday party, she went to 3rd base with a 14 y.o. boy she didn't know. When everyone went to cut the cake and do the presents our daughter slips off with the boy to the inflatable jump house. The birthday girl's mom caught them. We told her she was too young for boyfriend and she just does what she wants and tells him to come visit her at my mom's house a couple of weekends later (with-o permission). The boy was so embarassed and wouldn't take her calls after. I found that she was trying to call or text him several times a day. Phone privelages have been few and far between.

    I'm going to talk to husband and set her up with-a Neuropsychologist.

    Thank you for everything! Especially putting up with my ranting!
  9. someday

    someday Guest

    Thank you all so much for welcoming me and for the advice. It's very much appreciated!
  10. someday

    someday Guest

    OMgoodness! Grade school kids?! I didn't even think about notifying the school until the earlier post. Thank you both for pointing this out. I wonder how much free time the kids actually do have on the computers at school?

    You're right about that! She did NOT learn any of that from our house. The terminology she used in the google search box was frightening. Very specific sex acts of a deviant nature. Things I could hardly bring myself to say outloud to my mom or hubby. My husband told her how filth like that could warp peoples minds and that the things she looked up would mess a grown man's head up. She just gave him a blank stare like he hadn't said anything. I think she learned about it at school. She doesn't have any close friends that she spend the weekend with or anything like that so I bet it's at school.

    I'm so glad you said that her stories about me seemed off the wall. What she said seemed like the strangest thing anyone could think up. I really think she did it for shock value. Just to mess with the girl for not talking dirty with her. Who knows though.

    Wow, that is strange how the two situations parallel (except for the mama part, lol). A story with a bittersweet ending, I must say. I hope both children are doing well (and the mama) just as the mother says.

    You're correct about the lying not being typical with Autism/Asperger's. My son might as well hold up a big red sign when he tries to lie. Usually he tells on himself right after he tells the lie. It's never a constructed story though. Sometimes he does mix up pretend and reality though.

    That is crazy, that mom trying to drop off her kids with your family! I can't imagine letting either one of mine spend the weekend with anyone but my mom. I know my kids are high needs and I wouldn't have a minute of peace worrying about leaving them like that and putting another family in such a position!

    Thanks again for the advice!
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Although she may have Aspergers (typically these kids have lots of problems) it is unlikely to be her only one. in my opinion this isn't because of her parents not teaching her right, not completely, although that would not help. It's probably because she was neglected as an infant and toddler and she developed attachment issues so common in adopted kids. Being uprooted from her only family, whether they were good or bad parents, is jarring to a child and they often "talk the talk" but don't "think as they talk." Example:

    Hub and I adopted a six year old from Hong Kong who was happy to call us Mom and Dad from the start and almost never asked about his biological parents or talked about the people he left behind. Now he is 32 and we haven't seen him in six years. In a very real way, he doesn't and never did think of us as "Mom" and "Dad" with the same strong attachement and belief that other kids do...kids who are born to their parents or those adopted as infants. Even those adopted as infant, who never discuss it, almost always have birthfamily issues in their minds. If they feel you don't want them to discuss it, they won't. If they are angry, they often surpress it. I adopted six kids. Two are no longer here. We learned the hard way.

    Kids with attachment problems are often AFRAID of love and DON'T WANT it and reject it. Therefore they reject what you say and tell them to do. Our six year old from Hong Kong (now 32) was brilliant (IS brilliant) and behaved himself almost too much. But he said many times, before he married and left us for good, that "You had nothing to do with how I turned out. I was already formed at six years old." I heard another adoptee, a friend of mine, say the same about her parents. "They didn't form my personality. I didn't go to them until I was seven."

    I loved my son with all my heart, but I clearly loved and was attached to him far more than he was attached to me. He now has a son that I will never see. He has contacted his birthmother and birthsiblings in Hong Kong. That doesn't bother me, but never seeing him does bother me. I wish I had gone into attachment therapy with him when he had first come, but I was thinking that a good home life and love would be enough. It was not enough for him. He married a Chinese woman and is very into his Chinese heritage, traveling three times to China already (he is a young millionaire...this is true). He joined a church that is 100% different from how we believe and his church tells him that his family is God's family. I believe he thinks we are all heathens, which is one reason he so easily detached.

    I'm not telling you this to discourage you because it doesn't always turn out this way. I'm telling you because these older adopted kids are NOT the same one-issue kids as those who are born to us or who we raise from infancy. It's way different. You need to look at these children from many angles. Your girl MAY or may not have Aspergers, but, if she does, it is unlikely the only reason she behaves as she does and most likely just treating the Aspergers won't be enough.

    We always got neuropsychologist evaluations for our older adopted kids. Unfortunately, these kids can be foolers and so hard to diagnose. The only one they were able to pin down was my now sixteen year old who came to us at two. Fortunately, he does NOT have attachment issues. That may be due to the fact that he went straight to his foster family at his birth and WAS nurtured. When he came to us, he trusted adults and caregivers and was able to attach, unlike the three other kids we adopted at much older ages.

    We do not give up easily. It was for the safety of our younger kids that we gave up at all. We had to keep them safe...and, on a lesser level, we also had to keep our pets safe and this kid killed our dogs.

    You may want to join a real life adoptive parent group. Your child is behaving like a typical child adopted older. It is very rare that it is not a very rocky road. There is probably a possibility that your daughter was exposed to alcohol and drugs in utero as well, causing physical issues as well.

    I wish you luck. Remember, there are no easy solutions or answers and this is not your fault. You inherited her issues. You did not cause them.

    I have book suggestions for you:


  12. someday

    someday Guest

    I agree that her problems are probably a mix of biological issues and from being neglected and removed from her bio. family. It's amazing how DSS presented her as the "golden child" as if she was not affected by the situation at all and that all she really needed was a stable and loving family. Everyone thought she was a little saint for living in such conditions and for trying to care for her little brother. DSS and all the specialists had to know there were problems beneth the surface.

    In hind sight, I realize how inexperienced my husband and I were in those days. We were barely in our 30's and just thinking about beginning a family. We both had careers that we enjoyed, had just bought our first home and even had a little money in the bank for a rainy day. We had a plan for our future. Adoption didn't even enter our minds. When the situation came up it weighed heavy on our hearts and minds and it became clear that our kids needed our help immediately. We were told many times (after our commitment to the kids) that our son would have eventually been institutionalized and that our daughter probably would have grown up in foster care due to her age.

    We are a little wiser now. We know to seek help and don't always believe everything the experts say just because they're experts. We realized that having a biological child would be overwhelming to our family. We are accepting that not we cannot "fix" everything and that everything isn't our fault.

    Talking on this forum has helped me a lot. In the past I thought about finding a local support group and did not for many reasons. I just didn't know if I could handle one more person telling me what I "should do" or dismissing my concerns as "she'll grow out of it". I think I'm ready to give it a try now though. Everyone here has been kind, open and supportive. I can't tell you how much that means to me.

    Your stories of your two older adopted kids that went their own ways is heart breaking. I can't imagine putting your heart and your other kid's heart's back together after such pain. I agree 100% that you absolutely must protect your younger kids, yourselves and pets. Thank you for sharing this. I need to be aware this could happen. She could be hiding her true feelings and just biding her time. I pray not, but it is a possibility. All the more reason to find her (and us) the right professional help now. I am moderately concerned that she will not respond well to therapy or that she will learn to conceal her true feelings better through therapy.

    Thank you again for your advice, sharing your experiences and wisdom and your support! I'll keep you updated about the neuropsychologist.