My daughter is not the same child anymore

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by librarygrrrl, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. librarygrrrl

    librarygrrrl New Member

    I am really not sure if this is the right place but I am really at a loss to what is causing my difficult child daughter's behavior. Actually, it could be a number of things which makes it so confusing to explain! So I will just give a recap.
    daughter is 8 1/2. She has always been high energy, life of the party type personality.
    She is very bright, straight A's in school, artistic and loved (emphasis on past tense) to read. While she could be very stubborn and argumentative, I did not have huge behavior issues with her until 6 months ago.
    Back in Jan.2010 I discovered genital warts on her which of course I took her to the Dr immediately. Long story short, she has not disclosed any information. We don't do daycare. Babysitters have only been family members. It was a shock, still is. She has been interviewed by the police a number of times, her pediatrician, social worker a couple of times. We even put her in therapy back in June to see if that would help her talk. Nothing. At this point I am wondering if innocent transmission is possible, but that's for a whole other forum. So basically I have been getting her all the help I can get for the possible molestation issue even though she still is not disclosing.
    Fast forward to Oct.2010 and during an argument she went "crazy". Screaming, slamming doors, throwing things and then took off out the front door. It was 2am! She was in pj's, barefeet. husband could not catch her, so I had to go out in the car to look for her. Thankfully she just ran around the block and came home. So that was the first blow up. Since then, random things would set her off. Being told to do her homework. Asking her to pick up her clothes. Turning the TV off. She just goes into these rages and gets this crazed look in her eyes. It has gotten so bad that I have to physically hold her down to keep her from tearing up the house and bothering her brother who is usually trying to sleep. So I have to hold down daughter until she wears herself out. Usually these episodes last 2 hours.
    Her therapist is no help so I took her for a psychiatric evaluation who suggested a neurologist. She had an MRI and EEG which came back normal.
    She only has this behavior at home - at school her grades and behavior are great. So the Dr's just point their fingers at us, her parents, like it is our fault. They all want to know what changed in October to bring about this explosive behavior and nothing at home has changed.
    I was thinking she may have an issue with sugar sensitivity so I have really cut that out.
    Now I am thinking maybe she has a hormonal problem.
    Maybe she is stressed from all the molestation interviews/therapy session, and she is just acting out now?
    Or maybe she is depressed since I have read in kids depression can be displayed as anger.
    She does not like to read anymore, which bothers me since she used to love it. All she wants to do is watch tv.
    She is super jealous of easy child DS. He is so sweet and loveable, you can't help but love on him all the time. But then she comes tearing into the room "accidentally" hitting him or knocking him over. She really needs to get over the jealousy.
    We are just walking on eggshells at home.

    Since I have a history of depression I feel she is susceptible to a mood disorder as well. However, no Dr's want to diagnosis her with anything since she can control her anger/rage at school.

    Sorry this was so long and maybe fragmented. I just want to help my daughter before 8 turns into 16 and I lose what little control I have!
  2. librarygrrrl

    librarygrrrl New Member

    I also need to add another big issue is that she has a very difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep and then she will wake up early.
    This is all new to go along with the raging. She complains it is too scary in her room. She has a radio for classical music, 2 night lights. I even got her a book light so she can read if she is not tired but she just ends up playing with the book light. Countless times she gets up in the night. And many times I have discovered she has turned on her bedroom light and fallen asleep like that.
    So I have been giving her 2mg of melatonin. I feel badly but I need some sleep just as much as she does! It is hit or miss, not sure if I should up the dose, maybe it's not enough. She often will get tired, but seems you have to give it to her early enough to give her time to get tired. But she will still wake up occasionally during the night and still gets up early. But I just think her not getting enough sleep might be aggravating her behavior issues.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I think you haven't found the right docs. Have you taken her to a child psychiatrist? I would also recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation. It is very possible that she is depressed but the thing about everything being okay at school makes that difficult to say. My son was molested when he was 3. We had some of the same issues with him at our house because this is where it happened. It was my babysitter who happened to be my friend's 15 year old daughter. That's why he only acted this way at home. I also had a different therapist tell me that he only acted this way at home because that is where he felt "safe" enough to act this way.

    I wish I could be of more help. Keep us posted and I'm sure you will get more responses in the morning. Nights are pretty quiet around here.

    Welcome to our "family". I have found this to be a very helpful and WISE group of people to be associated with. They have been my lifeline for a while now. I hope you find this to be true for you too.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Any chance that October could be the anniversary of the possible molestation?

    And I think we could form a very large club from the number of parents on this board who have been told by some doctor(s) somewhere at some time that it's all our fault - or at least had it implied.

    It is not that unusual for a kid to act out at home and not at school. Do NOT let anyone tell you otherwise.

    It does not automatically follow that the reason for the behavior at home can be laid at the parent's feet.

    Very few parents are doormats. Many of us here may have had some expectations about having "normal" children and what that meant which have hindered our ability to adapt quickly and competently to difficult child's. Thus we may have experienced TDS - temporary doormat syndrome.

    Regular participation on this board is usually a quick (but not painless) cure for TDS.

  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I definitely agree that you need to find the right docs. I second the child psychiatrist and a neuro-psychologist. The sleep issue is a big concern. It is so important that she get a good night's sleep. I hate that walking on eggshells feeling. I'm really glad you found us but sorry you needed to.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've had the unfortunate experience of KNOWING that my two younger children were molested over and over again by a child we adopted (he is now gone forever and both of them are adopted too, so I'm not against adoption...these are just facts).

    There are certain specialists that deal with children who were molested. It is such a delicate issue. I don't think that they are supposed to come right out and ask, but build up a relationship with the child so that he will feel safe enough to disclose. My children played games with the therapist for a long time and they talked about a lot of stuff metter-of-factly. I would look for somesbody who specializes in children who have been molested. Although I usually like neuropsychologists, they can't really diagnose molestation. It's not the same thing as a childhood disorder. It is something that happened to her, not an inborn disability. Do you have any idea when this may have happened or who did it?

    I have tons of empathy for both you and your child. I hope you can find the right answers. (((Hugs)))
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'll hit on this part. Yes, it is possible. HPV is something that can cause this. My sister has HPV (warts strain, but she has to have cervical biopsies once or twice a year because she has abnormal paps, too). When I had custody there were extra precautions we had to take. Above and beyond not sharing towels, hers was hung up away from the other towels. All her stuff had to be washed in hot water. The toilet seat was disinfected every time it was used. There are many strains of HPV, and not all require as direct contact as you think because it's also in the blood, so open cuts on anyone had to be carefully dealt with ASAP and kept covered. There are strains that can transmit in the saliva, so sharing cups, utensils, etc., is also out.
    A best friend of mine had cervical cancer (which can be caused by yet another strain of HPV), and when we lived together we also took extra precautions, so by the time I had my sister living with me I already had been through all the extra stuff once. Turns out friend's cancer was not HPV-related, but the trial run was priceless in terms of what I had to learn and came in handy later.

    That said, HPV is not the only cause of warts so far as I know, but yes, innocent transmission can and does happen. I'm not saying to remove her from therapy or anything like that, but you might want to see if they can do a blood test to determine if she has HPV and if so which strain. You may also want to start taking extra precautions to protect everyone else in the house.
  8. librarygrrrl

    librarygrrrl New Member

    Thanks for the replies :)
    Regarding the possible molestation, the therapist she was seeing, June to February - we just quit, did specialize in child sexual abuse. Nothing came out of it. Also, her school is really great in that they do the "Good Touch/Bad Touch" program which lasts a week, every year. Plus, I have said everything to make her comfortable, it's not your fault, nobody is going to hurt you if you tell blah blah blah and nothing.
    HPV does have a latency period so for all we know this could have happened when she was 2 and just does not have memory??? But why act out now???
    Also in regards to the HPV, while in the hospital to have them removed the hospital typed them as the sexually transmitted strain. After the fact I was doing all this research and there are NUMEROUS strains and how Dr's should not jump to the conclusion that gential warts on children are a sign of sexual abouse...I wanted to hospital to send them to a lab to tell me the exact strain it was and the sample were destroyed. So much for that. So either daughter has been abused and is not ready to talk about it and may not be ready for years, OR it was innocent transmission and we put her through all this therapy/social worker/police stuff a year for nothing.
    When the rages started in October and her therapist was not helping at all, I took daughter to a Child Psychiatrist that specializes in anger issues. She did not help much other than sending her to a neurologist to check her brain (which was fine). The psychiatric did say if she did not improve we could bring her back to talk medication but I have not reached that yet. Every time a rage occurs I wish she was medicated but all the doctors keep saying is that she can control herself she just chooses not to at home. So I still want to work with her on controlling her feelings before drugs get involved. Plus we really do not know when a rage is going to occur. Some days she seems agitated and I feel like she is building up and I am right, other days it turns into nothing.
    I am so sick of taking things away, threating that if she has a fit she can't go to a friends house etc. It feels like I am always holding something over her head. But she has flat out said, "I need a reason to be good".
    Her Grandma (my Mom) came up with a plan that if she could be good for a whole month, no fits, no being mean to her little brother, she would take her out and do something special just the two of them. daughter was so excited and the first week I really did see some great improvements plus she was playing so nicely with DS and being loving to him (he was over the moon!) it was a good week. Then on 7th night she had a major rage which included her standing outside in the rain and sitting on me to pin me down. So now she has to start all over again at day one. When my Mom told her 30 days I chuckled to myself, that is a loooooooooong time - I would be happy with 2 weeks!

    by the way, what is the difference between a child psychiatric and a neuropsychologist?
    Also, has anyone ever had hormone levels checked in their child?
    Food allergies?
    Seems like I am grapsing at straws wanting to blame her behavior on anything rather than just saying she is a brat.
    It is so hard to look at her pictures from years ago and not see the same child in her now :(
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hon... First of all, hugs.

    It does not matter how much you tell a child they will not be in trouble if they talk about it. They will, or they won't.

    My stepkids - Onyxx and Jett - witnessed and were victim to years of physical abuse. Onyxx has only started talking about it in the last couple of years, since she began refusing to visit her bio mother. Jett is still visiting bio mom, and he is "happy" all the time (what kid is always happy?!), won't even talk to the therapist about it. However - when he was 6, and husband and I were about to get married (the kids still lived with bio mom then) - he threw a FIT. Because married people beat each other up. Especially married ladies liked to beat on married men. We got him calmed down, but... Every now and again something slips out, such as he "got spanked with a wooden spoon on his head". Never anything that we can do anything about - because he will not tell anyone about it later. He is terrified of his mother.

    It could take years, as it did with Onyxx, if anything happened. I'd say that's a pretty good indication something did. But no way to truly know. Just keep her in counseling. Don't quit... No matter what. Cause even if nothing happened? The behavior says something's going on inside.

    More hugs...
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Librarygrrrl.

    I can't speak about the other issues ... no experience ... but my son is a classic example of the carrot and the stick routine only working until the very last second and then KABOOM! He ruins everything he has worked for.

    Looking back on it, I would shorten the time period, from a week to 4 days or something shorter. These kids just cannot handle "Grownup" schedules, like a week. The fact that she was improving meant that she was really working on it and looking forward to it and needed a reward.

    Also, when you see her ramping up, back off. I can tell when my son is ramping up. He gets dark circles under his eyes, his ears turn red, he gets jumpy (either moves around a lot or taps his foot or something, or goes after the animals and won't let them go), etc. Sometimes he gets mouthy and I have to just walk away because if I give it back to him or get very stern, he will explode.

    To an outsider, it looks as though we are spoiling our kids. But it's just because we know how they think (or the flaws in their thinking) and how far to push them.

    I agree, that something is going on inside, and you never know, she could have been molested many yrs ago and has no memory of it except a primal anger, knowing at some level that whatever happened was wrong and unfair.
    Also, since you have a mood disorder, she could be ramping up for bipolar or something, but you won't really get a grip on that until she's a teenager (others here have more experience with-that).

    So sorry you had to find us, but glad that you did.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011