Somehow in recent confrontations with my angry, temperamental difficult child I have allowed myself to become a 'victim.' I hate conflict, and tend to avoid or run away from it, and frankly, lately I've felt as if I am in a bad marriage and I wish to just escape it! However, I know that the parent-child relationship is not a marriage. I am the adult and I should be the strong one, and yet, here I am feeling like my daughter is abusing me. The level of disrespect, hatred, insults, defiance, and above all, the sneakiness, lies and manipulation coming from the child are unbearable. I understand a little independence-seeking behavior, at her age (16), but this is too much. I have always said that adoption is forever and that I would never 'give up' on this child, but in all honesty, I now think I would be more committed if I had given birth to her or had raised her from infancy rather than just for the last 8 of her 16 years. This thought fills me with guilt and shame. I am weak, I guess, battle-weary and exhausted (being overweight, lack of exercise and diagnosed with Sleep Apnea adds to the problem!) The child had been sneaking out at night to see her boyfriend, skipping several classes at school, and giving me excessive backtalk. She flew into a rage over my taking her cellphone away on weekdays because she had been running up the bill for too many minutes during peak hours. And I caught her in a few deliberate lies. Four days ago I put her in a shelter for troubled and runaway teens, because I was desperate for some respite. I confess that I am feeling ambivalent -- It seems like her recent hostility towards me (she was even threatening to stab me or beat me up, more than once) has deadened my love and I am afraid that all trust has gone out of the relationship. This too, disturbs me, the idea that maybe my love for her was 'conditional.' I'm sure that I am making mistakes. I could be more proactive (rather than reactive) in my parenting style. I guess that teenagers need to be given respect and choices, and sometimes I have been too harsh and critical. (But I often do praise her for her abilities and strengths.) Also, I suppose that I need to "set expectations" more clearly in the future; perhaps she didn't realize that her cellphone (which is her life-blood) would be taken away if she did nothing to control her minutes. That still does not excuse her behaviors. We had some family therapy sessions planned, but she refused to go at the last minute. (Only I and my 13-yo difficult child went.) She is trying to be conciliatory when we talk on the phone, but I am still angry over her behaviors and will not be satisfied until she takes responsibility and admits she was wrong or explicitly apologizes, which she appears unready to do. Am I expecting too much? In fact, I ended our phone call tonight by telling her I am exhausted, I need a break, and don't call me anymore. Oops! Now, she probably really does think she has been abandoned. I feel terrible. I thought I had courage, but this parenting of an out-of-control teen is much harder than I ever imagined it would be. I am trying to get help. Does anyone have any advice or insights they can share?