Just tired

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tee2, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. tee2

    tee2 New Member

    I've tried for years to get help for my daughter. The "help" was more harmful than helpful. medications we tried when she was young only made things worse. I've tried for years to help my daughter myself. Nothing works.

    Now, she's a teenager, so on top of her mood swings, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), etc., she has all the wonderful insecurities and things that come along with being a teen -- except they're all intensified because of her problems. I've grown to have a pretty good understanding of what is NOT going on with her, but still have absolutely no idea how to handle her or help her. For example, when she freaks out over something, it's not that she's being selfish or greedy or anything else (which is usually what it looks like on the surface). She's actually miserable and is trying in her own way to cope with a situation. But that usually involves us, her family, having to do something to "fix" the situation. And, of course, we can't always do that, nor is it good for her for us to always do that. But, if you don't, she's hysterical. She has absolutely no coping skills whatsoever, and the years of incompetent therapists we saw never worked on it with her.

    These summer weeks have been a string of never-ending freakouts. If things don't go exactly right, she's a mess and frantic to "fix" it and make it "right." She usually can recognize now that she's being unreasonable, but can't do anything to control herself. I've tried talking to her about how it makes her moods worse to not be taking good care of herself -- not eating right or getting enough sleep. But, she's a teenager so it goes in one ear and out the other. She's been on several out of town trips with friends this summer, and has called me in tears each time over something.

    Now, it looks like her planned trip to the beach with her boyfriend's family is not going to happen because she's not going to be getting back from the current trip in time to go with them. She's convinced herself that this is the trip she's been dreaming of for years -- a trip to the beach with a boyfriend. She's built it up to THE THING that will make her life good and make her feel happy, that if it doesn't work out she is absolutely not going to be able to go on. Doesn't help that it is all also happening on her birthday, She calls me in tears, frantically trying to figure out a way to make it work, but the only way to do that is to have me drive her there (a 4-hour drive), and back home again. She even realizes how nuts that is, but is so frantic to make herself feel better, she keeps trying to figure out a way to make it work.

    I've got so much else going on daily that I'm having a hard time coping myself. I'm just so tired of working so hard every day to get nowhere, and I don't know how to handle these situations anymore. There's just no good answer.

    I guess I don't really have a question, just needed to vent!
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Tee, this sounds very much anxiety-driven. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is A LOT like this, even now at 21. She moved out with BF2 a few weeks ago and we can't believe the peace and quiet. What's more, when I dropped in on her last week I got a lovely, unprompted hug and kiss on arrival and departure. I think she's beginning to appreciate us at last!

    Your 5yo has anxiety, so it's on the cards that this could be an issue for other family members also. Maybe she's just been good at holding things together when younger, but life is piling up a lot more now.

    As for the "it's what I've always wanted, my life will never be happy again" type of build-up - again, we get that a lot. More with difficult child 3 than his sister though. Still, for us we've seen it as part of the autism that doesn't just run in our family, it gallops.

  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    For many here, this seems to be a long summer. I'm sorry you are feeling so worn out by your daughter's endless neediness. In regards to the latest dilema, ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help? It seems unreasonable to drive her such a long distance. She will be disappointed and seem devastated but it is out of your hands so lend her a sympathic ear for a short time and then tune her out! I assume she chose to go on the current trip. Poor planning? Was there a change in plans that now makes it impossible for her to go with the boyfriend's family. Any chance this was done on purpose by the boyfriend family inorder to get out of taking her?

    Has she tried therapy recently? It may be helpful for her to talk about her issues with someone who can offer an outsider perspective.

    Good Luck!
  4. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Tee - your daughter sounds so much like my son! For so many years jumped through hoops trying to make him happy. I probably would have drove him the 4 hour drive! But somewhere along the way I realized that he was like a black hole, sucking all my phyical and emotional energy away, and still he was not happy. Not only that, but the last few years he has spent telling me that his problems are all my fault because I was such a bad mother! (Owch!)

    Now I realize his inablily to deal with life's little dissapointments are part of his bigger problem of just having little to no coping skills. I have tried repeatedly to get him the help he so desperately needs, but I can't help him if he refuses to want to help himself.

    I think that for these kids, they are so unhappy in themselves that all their happiness is tied up in something -- an event like the concert that they "need" to go to, or the latest greatest thing that they absolutely have to spend their very last dime on. And then when that doesn't bring them the happiness they are looking for, it is on to the next "gotta have it" item.

    You have done your best tee -- don't get caught up in trying to "make" her happy because only she is in control of that. One of the things that helped me detach is something I read here. I can't remember who said it but when their difficult child calls about the latest, greatest problem they said they make appropriate "clucking" noises without offering help or a solution. Along the lines of "that's too bad" and "I'm so sorry" (which you are) without jumping in to "fix" the problem. I have tried to remember this and it has helped me detach from what is basically difficult child's problem. It has helped me from being dragged down the swirling vortex of difficult child's problems!
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you give us a history on your child? How was her early development? Did she have sensory issues, poor peer interactions, any early obsessions?

    You said that medications make things worse. Has she ever had interventions outside of medication or talk therapy to help with her deficits? Are you convinced her diagnosis. are right?
    What about your young difficult child? Has he ever been tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

    Kids develop coping skills, even on their own, unless their brains are wired in such ways that they don't "get it." There is a lot of help for that, but the key is getting the right professional to help out. It sounds like her professionals have failed her. Has she ever seen a neuropsychologist? What about the little guy?
  6. Tee,

    Sorry you are having such a difficult time. I know dealing with a teenager is tough as it is, but when there are issue there as well it just makes everything worse.

    I agree with others that you need to no own your daughters problems. Sometimes kids make a choice to do something (like this current trip she is on) not thinking about how it will affect something else that they are wanting to do too (like trip to beach with boyfriend). It's not practical to drive the 4 hours to take her to the beach - nor should you be expected to.

    What worked or in your case didn't work with your daughter when she was younger doesn't mean that it shouldn't be revisited. You should have her re-evaluated by a psychiatrist. Perhaps even have a neuropsychologist evaluation done. Her diagnosis from when she was younger may have changed.

    Wish I had more to offer you, but you have come to the right place for support and information.

  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Wow, Tee. I got tired just reading your post!

    I wish I had advice. Alas, I have the younger version of your daughter.

    Understanding hugs.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    BBK, you really do. And I have the current version. It's absolutely exhausting, draining and frustrating.

    I really think CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) could be beneficial.
  9. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    gentle hugs for your weary heart
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sending hugs...no advice...just hugs.
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I have the 9yo boy version. I understand how drained you feel.
  12. tee2

    tee2 New Member

    Thanks to everyone for all the replies. It's nice to be in a place where people "get it." Yes, this is all anxiety-driven on difficult children part.

    SoTired, you explained it perfectly with this: