More drama

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by onmyknees, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. onmyknees

    onmyknees New Member

    Hi again. I am just venting. Got difficult child's progress report in school...4 D's one F (1 A, 1 B). tons on unexcused absences. Grades had been much better since we started concerta, but who knows what's going on now. She quit her job without telling us (a weekend job at the grocery store), went through $120 (her paycheck) in 2 days with absolutely Nothing to show for it (yes I consider drugs a possibility, and will test her, but shes always tested neg). Says she wants emancipated and that me and my husband (her dad) are all the causes of her problems. We have been nothing but calm and absolutely not abusive. I had to go pick her up from her 22 y.o. xboyfriend's apt. after school and the whole way home she was calmly telling me in a calm, demonistic voice that she wishes I were never her mother, she hates me and her dad, she wants emancipated from the family. It was horrible. The only thing in her life that she can think of to blame us for is the fact that we had her before we were married and so she thinks she was an "accident" and never wanted. I have told her again and again that that is not true. We have a great marriage by the way. Maybe I'm coldhearted for thinking this, but I think she is just looking for something to blame her bad behavior on. Heck she has friends that were sexually abused, neglected. I'm at a loss for words with her. She won't even talk to us anymore. I personally think there's something more going on...some sort of mood disorder. She can be so upbeat at times (not manic just very happy and optomistic) and very depressed at others....all at the drop of a hat....sometimes all in one day. I think I've heard that the manic side of bipolar can come out in iritability, agitation...she definately has that. I don't know... We go to the psychiatrist next week. We've been telling him the last appts that things were getting a little better. I feel like I'm getting depressed now...for the last couple months I haven't felt like doing anything! The house is getting to be messy and I have to force myself to shower. I don't feel like cooking...I'm basically a hermit at this point. I can feel my emotions shut down...why do I even try with her? It gets us nowhere...
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sorry, no words that I can think of are going to make you feel any better right now. It does sound as if you need to get you something for your depression.

    For now, thought, just

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    been there done that with Nichole at 14-16 and it was pure H*ll. At least until we got the diagnosis and got her on the right medications. Then things improved a bit.

    I'm no doctor but I can tell you that your daughter reminds me very much of Nichole. I'm guessing a strong possibility of bipolar. And there is such a thing called hypomania that the manic symptoms are no where near as severe as "normal" mania.

    Hang in there. I know it doesn't seem like it right now, but it can get better.

  4. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    So sorry your going through all this. When I was 12 I wanted out of my house too. Even went to the extreme of telling my mother I hated her. Which I didn't I just wanted to live with my older sister, because her husband let me get high and drink - he also molested me.

    I was a horrible teenager, I put my mom through hell and still regret it till this day. After I turned 19 - 20 and got married mom and I got a lot closer and stayed close.

    Why do you keep trying??? Because she is your daughter and you love her.

    Do try and get something for yourself, anti-depressents, xanax and/or therapy/counseling.

    Lots of hugs and prayers your way.

    Take Care
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things are so rough right now. easy child has often told me she hates me. difficult child has told me he wishes I wasn't his mother. Such lovely things to hear from our kids. It's hard but try not to personalize it. I often feel like why bother but like Happy Mom said we keep trying because we love them (even though we often don't like them.

    Please be sure to take care of you and do something nice for yourself. Hugs.
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I'm sorry she's being so abusive to you. It has to be breaking your heart.

    Has anyone ever talked about a personality disorder? Most times they don't want to go there until one is 18.

    Pick up the book 'Walking on Eggshells' and see if you can relate to it at all. Even if it doesn't fit you exactly, from what you're describing I'm sure you could derive some benefit from it.

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Maybe it's me, but if a kid of mine gets abusive like that, tries to tell me that I am the biggest problem in hr life and she needs me gone, I would pull over the car and give her the choice - become independent NOW, as you are, no money and clothes on your back (which, by the way, I probably paid for too) or accept that this is an overdramatisation and face FACTS, not runaway emotions and denial.

    I've called the bluff this way a few times. "Fine - I'm your problem? Well, you can always get your own meals, then you could have exactly what you want. of course, you will have the same limitations I have - you'll only have the beer allowance, so you won't be able to afford caviar sandwiches."

    We do need to treat our kids gently, but this doesn't mean we should become doormats for them. And there's nothing like having to get out of the car on the side of the road in the middle of winter, to make her realise that maybe she's overdoing it, just a bit. And taking you for granted, just a tad.

    At her age, she should be pitching in and helping around the house. Hah! I hear you say. Times like this are maybe the time to enforce it - "Darling, you say you want to leave home and make your own way in the world, so I will do my best to help you reach that goal as soon as possible. You need to know how to work the washing machine, you need to begin to take control of your own upkeep. The faster you can take control of your own affairs, the sooner you will be ready to live independently, so let's start right now."
    Get her to do her own washing (which includes hanging it out/using the dryer AND putting it all away); get her to PLAN a meal - she can choose, but she has to budget for it, buy the ingredients, cook for EVERYBODY in the household (after all, you've been including her all these years, she has to include you) then come home, cook the meal, make sure it's balanced and sufficient for everybody, then clean up afterwards; get her to organise her own finances and begin to budget to pay her bills. With this last one, we use a spreadsheet on the computer to monitor credit card use and bank balance activity. Every time we use a credit card, we keep the docket and log the details on the computer file. Then when the statements come in, we check against them. It also helps us not go over our credit limit.

    If she can't control her spending at the moment, SHE has to realise this. There's nothing like fear of eviction or fear of having your phone cut off to tell you that you have a problem with impulse buying. Natural consequences. So first, she has to recognise there is a problem. The next step will require her cooperation (hence she has to first admit to having a problem). Sit down with her and work out a rough budget. What bills does she have to pay? How much does she have? How much should she have left over? Make sure she puts as much as possible into the bank. Preferably, ALL her pay should go into the bank.

    A system we set up for difficult child 1, who had severe impulse control issues when it came to spending - we set up a double bank account system. He began to receive a disability pension when he was 15. At the same time, we lost about $50 a week in government benefits for him. So we arranged for him to pay us the $50 a week (as board - we used it to pay for his medications) and he wanted another $25 a week as money in hand (to buy things with, to pay for his travel, etc). This meant the rest had to be socked away for a rainy day.

    His pension was paid into his bank account. He had a debit card access. So we all sat down with the bank and organised for about half his pension payment to be transferred into a high interest deposit account. This account pays interest monthly, calculated daily. It pays extra interest if there are no withdrawals that month. So it's designed purely for putting money aside, with the occasional large withdrawal. We then set up this investment account with three signatures (difficult child 1, me, husband), with difficult child 1 and one other needed to sign for withdrawals (so he couldn't ever say that husband & I got into his money behind his back).
    The final set-up - Day 1 - pension goes into his account. Sometimes it's a day or two late, so we arranged for the transfer to the investment account to happen on Day 3. This meant he had to give us his debit card from the morning of Day 1 until the end of Day 3. Not that he was being sneaky - he just didn't realise, because in his mind any money left in his working account was his to use, and he would forget that a large amount would be temporarily there until the transfer took place.

    We put this in place when he turned 15. He's now 23 and has a lot of money in the investment account, which he's planning to use to buy a car. He has slowly learned how to manage his finances. He has a phone which he pays for and also is keeping his spending logged in a spreadsheet (that is only recent). He has a goal - to be independent, working (hence off the pension) and able to get married. We've relaxed the hold on his investment account by letting his girlfriend become a fourth signatory. With some trepidation, because he can still impulse-buy and I hope she will be strong enough to say "No" to him. I do not like putting her in a parental role (encourages co-dependence) but they both insisted and he IS an adult.

    Basically, our main aim as parents is for our kids to be independent, happy, productive members of society. To help them learn to be independent we need to give them enough rope. Feed them a little rope and hang on to the end, to begin with.

    It was similar when easy child 2/difficult child 2 became sexually active - some people call it "hypersexual". we call it "round heels". At least she's a serial monogamist...
    but we said to her, if you insist on having sex which is an adult activity, you have to also take on the sexual responsibility as an adult. This meant contraception, protection, health checks. Pap smears. And get it right, be responsible. I actually took my kids shopping for condoms and lectured them about how the Pill does NOT protect against STDs. We role-played how to handle a sexual encounter when you don't want to offend the partner by insisting on condom use (it could be taken to mean you think they could be a walking infection hazard due to extreme promiscuity). There are ways to get kids to use condoms responsibly without causing offence. And there's nothing like being with Mum as she's roaming the supermarket aisles and asking, "Do you want flavoured condoms? Avoid the banana ones, it's pure chemical and is nasty. What about ribbed? And avoid that brand, they're too thick, there's total loss of sensation..."
    I think I got a few more years of virginity out of easy child 2/difficult child 2 that way. And difficult child 1 - he's sworn off sex until he's married. But it was THEIR choice. There is no way you can impose your will on your kids, short of locking them up in solitary.

    If difficult child wants to 'divorce' you as parents, then change the way you treat her - switch to treating her as if she is a flatmate, someone who you split the rent and food bills with, someone who has to do her share of the upkeep as well as not intrude into common areas too much. Someone who has to give and take, not expect parents to be a taxi service unless she can reciprocate in some way. because when she can do THAT, she will be ready to leave home and share a place with people who care a lot less about her than you do; people who will be far less forgiving than you are.

    Talk it through with her. But do not own any of the rubbish she's labelling you with. Toss it right back at her.

    Example: difficult child 3 was saying to me yesterday that I'm too soft because I don't like sitting on hard benches, I prefer to sit on cushions. So I came right back at him and reminded him that I don't sit on hard benches because when he was born his huge head tore my pelvis in pieces and knocked my tailbone out of shape; I've never been the same since. And if HE wants to get critical, let HIM go and have a big-headed baby first, THEN he can make smart remarks. A head that big has a lot of brains in it, he'd better use those brains to remember to not sass me about it again. Especially not in public, outside a crowded elevator. My kids know that I will not guard my chastising merely because strangers are present.

  8. onmyknees

    onmyknees New Member

    Thanks for all the great responses. have some fantastic ideas. I think you have done such a great job! She has been told several months ago that I will not do her laundry, so well, she just wears dirty clothes. She hasn't washed clothes since...I guess it won't kill her. She does like to cook and used to be with me in the kitchen all the time. I honestly can't see her planning a meal...her add is extremely bad. But, I will try giving her some room to fail or succeed. The money situation just baffles me...she can't tell me one thing she spent the money on except some fast food. I think that the plan you have with the bank is great. I need to try something like that, or her financial life will be a huge mess when she's on her own.

    Last night was another drama filled evening. She went to a friends house and when I picked her up I agreed to get her a movie for the weekend. So on the way to the video store she decided the ONLY movie she wanted was "Superbad"...rated R and not something I would want her to watch. She threw a hissy and I told her to get out of the car and she relented and so I guess I won that battle. Mom 1: difficult child

    I just feel completely overwhelmed and with everything and I shut down. It's obviously not solving anything, so I really need to buck up and face this. My difficult child will not say a word to hubby. It's really sad. The counselor wants him to work on their relationship and says this will solve a lot of our issues. I can't see that happening anytime soon, but he's trying. She secludes herself every waking minute from him. As for the sass, I will try to let it roll off my back...I'm hypersensitive (like difficult child), so thanks for the words of wisdom on that matter. I have to remember it's all part of her manipulation.

    Thanks again everyone!