Lost, hopeless, alone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by alh2384, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. alh2384

    alh2384 New Member

    I am new to this site. I registered because I need support and advice. I am an emotional wreck.
    I am a single mom, 28, in school full time. My ex has joint custody and gets daughter every other weekend. Otherwise I do everything on my own. He thinks our daughter is fine and is just "acting out" because he says I dont know how to parent.
    My daughter is 9. She has always had meltdowns, but in the past 8 months has become aggressive. She now punches me, bites me, kicks me, slaps, pinches, spits in my face, throws things at me or in general, breaks things, has put holes in our walls and took scissors and made what look like claw marks on my bedroom door...the list goes on. She says she hates me, I'm the worst mom in the world, why can't she have a normal life, and calls me names like twerp, brat, stupid. She has extreme anxiety. She sometimes acts like she can't breathe and will take very deep breaths every 30 seconds. She has lots of "tummy-achs". She cannot be alone and does not like her bedroom door closed, ever. She is always turning all the lights in the house on even during the day and has many irrational fears, like being scared of the sound of the water in the shower. Im sure I'm leaving things out....but tonight Im exhausted.
    I took her to a childrens psycologist who had her draw pictures and talk about her feelings. After 5 sessions like this and her behavior was only getting worse, I started looking elsewhere.
    I then found a childrens behavior specialist at a place that comes to your home. They come three times a week. She diagnosed my daughter with O.D.D. However, all she has doen is have her do lots of "paperwork" type exercises. She has shown very little improvement with this program as well after 3 months and the anxiety is worse.
    I have been researching and researching and I think she also has A.D.D. She cannot remember directions, forgets everything, is constantly talking, must always be the center of attention, has lots of little habits like biting her nails.
    Tonight she hit me in the back hard and said I deserved it. I am just so unhappy and feel hopeless and alone. I want to help her, but what I else can I do? I believe she DOES have ADD, ODD, and moderate to severe anxiety. Perhaps even other disorders. I have seriously been considering medication at this point.
    Please post and give any advice. I need help.....Thank u
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    You need a LOT more help than you're getting, hon. There's a lot more than ODD going on here and I'm sure you already know that. We generally look at ODD as a place-holder diagnosis, something they throw out when they don't really know what else is going on to explain it, but it doesn't really get you any help. Find out the real underlying diagnosis, get help for that (or those), and the ODD behavior generally goes down.

    Obviously the divorce and anxiety there is making things worse and I'm sure you know that, too. She needs a full evaluation to find out exactly what is wrong and get all the help possible, and don't be afraid to call the police when she gets violent - be sure to let dispatch know they're coming into a situation involving a mentally ill child - many departments have specially trained officers for this. Call your local CPS and ask for additional help with her, too - they have resources they can access as well.

    Does she have an IEP? Is she acting out at school? Or only at home?

    Hang in there hon!
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First off sending some gentle hugs your way. You sound as exhausted as I was when I found this place many years ago. It definitely seems as though more is going on here then ODD and possibly more than ADHD as well. The description of your daughter's violence made me feel like you were writing about my son when he was that age.

    I would definitely get her appointments with a child psychiatrist as well as with a neuropsychologist. Both will be able to help determine what is happening with your daughter. We were lucky to find a neuro-psychiatric that worked with our son's psychiatrist (they actually have offices next to one another).

    Also, and I know this is easier said than done, you need to take care of you. Take some bubble baths, read a book, enjoy a night out with friends, exercise! Any of these will help. Also come here often. This is truly a soft place to land where you will receive much support and love.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I echo the sentiments of HaoTzi. Did this child have any extreme trauma or switching of caregivers in her very early years? Also, she sounds like she has many autistic-like traits. I'd dump the people who are trying to help her now and take her to a neuropsychologist for a complete evaluation. We can't help you if we don't know what is going on with her. ODD is a pretty useless diagnosis and it sounds more intense than ADD.
    If she had chaos and a lot of different caregivers as an infant and toddler she could have attachment problems as well. Your ex sounds so out of it he almost isn't here...lol. He is incorrect on every front.
    A sensitive question: Did you drink or do any drugs during your pregnancy? You were very young so just wondering. That can affect a developing fetus.
    Any mental health issues on either side of her DNA? Anything that can be inherited?
    Gentle hugs. We are glad you're here and want to help.
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Your daughter's behavior sounds very similar to what we experienced with our oldest son, difficult child 1, only the violence began at a much younger age. In the beginning of our search for answers, we had him evaluated and counseled by a psychologist who told us we were doing an OK job as parents and who diagnosed him as having ODD. He didn't make it sound like it was a serious issue, never mentioned that ODD is basically a symptom of a much bigger problem(s). He gave us the choice of either continuing difficult child 1's counseling or just "muddling through childhood like most parents." What a truckload of "garbage!!!" Being naive, we continued difficult child 1's counseling for awhile but after seeing absolutely no improvement, we stopped it. I had many, many sleepless nights as I searched for help, answers. Our family was falling apart, our home felt more like a prison.

    I'm beginning to ramble, this is your thread, I'll get to the point! I totally agree with the others that your difficult child needs a thorough evaluation. Trying to treat ODD without knowing what is behind it is like trying to heal a gaping wound, needing many stitches, with just a band aide. Once you know what it is you're dealing with, you'll be in a much better position to help your daughter.

    by the way, when used properly, prescribed by a knowledgeable psychiatrist, medication can become a valuable tool in the treatment process. In some cases, difficult child 1 being one of them, he needed to be stabilized with the use of medications before there could be any sort of positive change in his behavior.

    This is a wonderful site, full of helpful, knowledgeable, caring people. I can't say enough good things about it! After finding it, I realized I wasn't alone, that were many others going through similar experiences to mine. I truly believe this site helped me save my sanity, or what little sanity I have left after having raised my kids, lol...

    Thinking of you today... Hugs... SFR
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I agree with the others that you need a more thorough evaluation of what is going on. See if you can find a psychiatrist or a neuropsychologist who specialize in children. It may take you a little while to get an appointment, but it will be a starting point. Ask her pediatrician for a referral of someone that they use and like. My son has an ODD diagnosis as well, and at first I thought "Okay. A name. Something that we can work to correct." The problem is that unless you know what is causing the ODD behaviors, you will never be able to correct them.

    Does your ex live near you? If he really thinks that you're the problem and that he could parent her so much better, I would take him up on that and let your daughter live with him for a while. Nothing cures the whole "you just don't know how to parent her" argument like letting someone else do the parenting for a while.

    Someone else already said this, but I'm going to repeat it because I have come to believe that it's crucial. You MUST take some time for yourself. If you have a hobby, pick it up when you have some quiet time. Take a walk to decompress and clear your mind on the weekends that your daughter is with your ex. If you are unable to take care of yourself you will never be able to care for her and get her the help and assistance that she needs.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. If she is behaving well with her Dad and is behaving well at school those are things to be thankful for. It does not mean you are the problem, by the way, it just means that she can function normally in some environments. Although I completely agree that you need to schedule a neuro/psychological evaluation to identify what her issues may be....I also think you need to keep a brief dairy of what happens when she is in your care. Make notes as to the schedule kept, foods eaten, tv watched, friends (you or hers) visiting, bedtime schedule and absolutely make note of when she behaves in unacceptable ways. It is not easy to pinpoint the problems Almost always there are a number of problems...not just one diagnosis. Do enjoy your time alone so your rested when it's necessary to face another outburst. Hugs DDD
  8. paperplate

    paperplate New Member

    I'm sorry you're going through this right now. I myself, just found this group a few days ago. I've been lurking through the messages. It's helping my sanity just knowing I'm not alone. I hope you can feel the same way.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. You have found a group of caring and wise people who will give you great advice and gentle support. This is not my area of expertise, but I am a Mom too and I wanted to welcome you and put my cyber arms around you and tell you, you are not alone, there is help out there for you and I'm glad you found us. Read through what folks have said, and do what feels right to you. The one exceedingly important thing is to remember to take care of you, to nurture you, to make sure your needs are met and you feel supported. If you do that, you can deal with anything. I wish you peace and that you find your way and find comfort here. (((HUGS))))
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ditto what hte others said; get her to a psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist for a long, thorough evaluation. ODD and ADD are just placeholders.
    Yes, I would definitely go with-medications at this point, especially for her anxiety. You will be able to tell the dr all of this and put it in writing. I'm sorry that the other therapist didn't give you a diagnosis or help at all. It really makes you feel like you're spinning your wheels.
    I'm sorry about the scissors marks on the door. I would take a picture of it. Start a file and document everything. Dates, times, photos. You will need it for the doctors. When you show them these things, try to do it when your difficult child is in another room, or else she'll go into orbit.
    If your husband thinks you're a bad parent, it's better that he doesn't live with you. That would drive me nuts.

    You've come to the right place.
  11. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Hi and welcome to the greatest support you're going to find! What everyone said is so true. If you'd like, PM me where in East Tn you are, perhaps you are near me as I'm also there. Maybe I can help you in some way. I'm very glad you found us. Keep coming back here seeking answer, venting, etc...