Need help and support

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bigbear11, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Well... I have posted only once before but I'm back. We went through a time (about 3 months) when things were fantastic but not so much now. I really need suggestions on how to deal with TRex. I have been "lurking' for about 9 months but I need the help and maybe even more so the support. I feel like such a horrible mother and feel guilty for not liking TRex at all (and that is probably putting it mildly) during her rages. Sometimes I wonder what I have gotten myself into but feel so horrible at that thougt that I almost make myself sick. I love her and know in my head that all this isn't her fault...but my heart is still sick and broken.

    I am sitting here tonight with fresh bruises from bites, hits and pinches.. No... haven't called the police. I know some of you may suggest that but just not sure I am ready and not sure it will make much difference. I had been restraining her when things got this out of control but realize that this isn't the right thing to do... it just excalates the violence with is not good for either of us. Talked with psychiatrist today and he said we just need to not engage. I agree but SOOOOO hard. She isn't the easy type.. if she is hitting and you try to hold her hands then she just starts head butting and kicking and then will hit more harder when you let her go. We have tried spanking and that doesn't work... she just wants us to spank her harder when she is raging (actually asks for it). So tonight it started... no discernable trigger. Wasn't ready for bath... OK. When that didn't get the argument then started excallating to the hitting and throwing things. Tried to walk away and block the bites/hits but she followed. Ended up outside with her trying to pull the landscaping out of the ground... she is strong as an ox when raging. Lots of name calling and "I hate you"... hurts alot to have your child talk to you like that. Gave up trying to get her to go to bed... right now 11pm she is asleep on the hardwood floor of the keeping room. And right now... I don't care... bad mom.

    Anyway some background, she was adopted from a Russian orphange, we brought her home at 14 mos. Always known that she had ADHD just from the way she acted but was diagnosed at 6. Thought for a long time that the rages were just impulse issues due to the ADHD but it is more but not sure exactly what. She hasn't had a formal neuropsch but has had a day long psychoeducational evaluation done at the University. psychiatrist has it and says that it is very thorough. When we repeat in a yr or so will probably go the neuropsychologist route. Has also had Sp and Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation and goes to therapy weekly. The out of control rages have always been there. However, as she has gotten older they have gotten more intense. Afterwards she is sorry but yeah aren't we all! We currently discipline the behaviour by taking favorite toys away and no TV/Computer for about a day or 2 and really try to reward the good behaviour. But to paraphrase my husband, she doesn't seem to care about alot and it doesn't make much impact. Any suggestions as what works? We have read the "Explosive Child" by Ross Green but need (obviously) to go back and review. It is really hard to define a trigger for her and right now when she is in this "zone" she wants the fight so she doens't want to not rage. She can go on for hours.

    I've read enough post here to know that this is minor compared to some of you and similar to others. But I also know that we are not alone in this although it feels like it most of the time. I would love any and all suggestions. It is so hard...
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You're right, you are not alone. Do you document everything after the rage is over? Keeping track of specific details like what was she doing, what did you want her to do, how did you ask her, her overall mood during the day, sleep quantity and quality, etc. That is the types of things you need to keep track of and it's hard to do mentally. Writing it all down will help. difficult child 1 needs advanced warning of a change such as "shower time in 10 minutes" then 5 minutes later "5 minutes to shower time". I also try to coincide transitions around his activities. If he's watching something on TV, its "when this show is over you need to take a shower" or if he's playing a video game "when you're done with this level, you need to take a shower".

    You really need to not engage and I know it is one of the hardest things to do but it really can work. If she wants you to spank her harder, my guess is she wants the physical pain to match the "pain" she's feeling. You need to refrain from any type of physical punishment and maybe from any type of physical contact at all until she's calm. Maybe she was abused in the orphanage? She could also have some severe attachment issues. She was in an orphanage during the most formidable years for learning to attach to caregivers.

    Are YOU seeing a therapist? It might be worthwhile to find one for yourself that has experience with attachment disorders.

    She sounds like a very complicataed little girl. What exactly were the results of the testing they did? If you don't have a copy, you need to get one. You need to know exactly what you're dealing with. She's on an awful lot of medications. Have you noticed that they have helped. For some kids, like mine, some medications can actually make things worse.

    Hang in there. We will support and help you all we can. Moreparents will be along probably tomorrow. There are many adoptive parents here also with unique experiences that might help. Check back often. {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to all three of you.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Adopted. 14 months. Foreign orphanage.
    What do you know about those first 14 months?
  4. Snoopy

    Snoopy New Member

    Hi bigbear11. Your story sounds similar to yours. We brought our internationally adopted child home at 14 months as well. I'm new here and haven't had a chance to write a proper introduction but I wanted to reach out to you. I won't claim to know your exact situation but I completely understand parenting an out of control child...just as so many others here understand as well. I can remember disliking my daughter and then that morphed into hating being around her. The guilt I felt was all consuming and I hated myself for the feelings I was having. I didn't begin to forgive myself until I read the first 5 or so chapters of Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control by Heather Forbes, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). She had raised two traumatized and attachment-disordered children and she was telling me that my feelings were normal! I didn't get much out of her book other than this "gift" but this was huge for me. After parenting my little daughter for 2 years, I was finally told that I was NOT crazy and there was absolutely nothing wrong with my feelings and reactions...that it was a normal response to what was happening in my home. The book also helped me to understand my daughter's behavior and helped me to understand why her behaviors were triggering my own childhood "traumas". I was never able to implement Heather Forbes' methods with my daughter because she needed a more firm (but loving and compassionate) method of therapeutic order for her to begin to feel safe. We had to use a more "steel box with a velvet lining" method for her and it worked beautifully for us. Some people swear by Heather's methods but it would have been disastrous for my family. My daughter was much too "in your face", explosive, and aggressive. Anyway, I didn't intend to go on about Heather Forbes. My point is that her first book freed me from my guilt. In January 2009, my daughter was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and PTSD at age 3 (she would have easily been diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorder (SPD), ODD, and anxiety disorder had any professional been willing to diagnose these at such a young age). Her behaviors were textbook Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and I was 100% sure she would be diagnosed as such as I had done months of research beforehand. We've done nearly 3 1/2 years of 3 different therapies (and a 4th one last summer) and my daughter is a completely different kid. We aren't there yet but we are getting close every single day. She is nearly 6 1/2 years old and is thriving in Kindergarten. I attribute much of our success to the fact that we began therapy with her at such a young age. It's NEVER to late to get help but the earlier the better. It's hard to know if your daughter has an attachment disorder but my guess is that she has, at the very least, experienced some major traumas. And the trauma alone can create all kinds of unbearable behaviors. I'm going to PM you a message that I wrote to share with others here. It's a specific description of the therapies we've done and who we've used...therapeutic parenting, NR (Neurological Reorganization), TAAT (Targeted Amino Acid Therapy), and BIT/Crossinology (Brain Integration Technique). It's a super long message so I'll send it to you in 7 private the forum won't allow me to send such a long message. Hang in there and let me know if you have any specific questions. I'm happy to share.
  5. Snoopy

    Snoopy New Member

    I tried to PM you several times but it wouldn't go through. I'm new at this and another member (buddy) told me today that you have to have your account set up to receive private messages. Maybe this is the problem. ??? I'll try again tomorrow. :)
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. I am sorry you are facing all this and understand a little of how soul-destroying it is.
    I have no expert words to give you, unfortunately, but it did occur to me on reading your post that your daughter in a sense wants and needs this drama and emotion. Something unconscious in her, of course... I sense that there is possibly a way to head all this stuff off at the pass before it develops into a fully fledged rage and it would be to do with physical things... do you ever try massaging her as she is getting "antsy"? Or taking her out for a brisk walk around the block or even better around the field if you are in the countryside? Of course doing these things just as she is getting ready for bed is not ideal but you have to implement emergency measures, I think. There may be something, you are obviously in the position to judge what it may be, that could prevent things even developing to this painful point, for all concerned. And I do feel the habit needs to be changed, bit by bit, to create a new, positive road map for her and in her brain.
    If what I have said seems irrelevant and not useful, please discard it. As I say, it is (just) an intuition.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Adoptive mother also. We have adopted both internationally and locally. I know, from talking to other moms, that kids who come from Russia tend to have a very hard time because, rather than being in foster care, they are in orphanages where they are often allowed to lay all day with no cuddling or one-on-one caregiving...this leads to "orphanage syndrome" otherwise known as attachment disorder. There is a spectrum from mild to severe. Also, many kids from that region of the world tend to suffer from fetal alcohol affects. Sadly, it is very common in the kids I have met who are from there. Both of those things could be going on and you would need somebody who is very schooled in these problems to know if this is what is going on with your daughter. I suspect she is at least suffering from a form of attachment disorder, but she also may have a form of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). I notice you have already thought of possible Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) so I would find a psychiatrist who understands both Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Fetal alcohol spectrum. I have a son who was drug exposed at birth (so it's pretty certain his birthmother didn't say NO to alcohol either). He is on the autism spectrum, which substances in utero can cause. He is lucky it is not a lot worse than that too.

    Attachment disorders can be treated. Fetal alcohol syndrome (mild or otherwise) is organic brain damage. Does she struggle in school? Does she remember something one day and seem to forget it the next? Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids are very impulsive with poor impulse can be mistaken for ADHD. It's sort of like ADHD on steroids!

    At any rate, I would get that neuropsychologist evaluation to see what you are dealing with (the whole nine yards) and then ask the neuropsychologist for a referral to somebody who is used to older adopted children who may have attachment and possible alcohol issues. But until you know what is going on, it is very hard to know what to isn't your fault. Adding to this, our adopted kids from abroad often have no history so we can't give the professionals any genetic or in-utero history. It is harder...much harder...for adopted kids who come with no or little history to get correctly diagnosed and treated.

    We adopted a child from Korea and one from Hong Kong. The child from Korea came at 5 months old and was carried on her foster mother's back and slept with her. She was very attached when we got her. My son from Hong Kong spsent his first six years in an orphanage. He never did attach to us. He was not a behavior problem...he kept it inside...but he was just very detached and inside he was a ticking time bomb. We did not understand this at the time and thought that because he acted ok on the surface that he WAS ok. Boy, were we wrong. He has left our family without a glance backwards. He is 35 now and we haven't seen him for six years. I don't even list him as a child of m ine anymore because he really isn't, not in his heart, and it hurts too much to put it down in black and white. Please get help early.

    Hugs and good luck! I suggest reading

    This will help you with the attachment part of her problems, if indeed she has attachment problems (but she probably does). If she has alcohol issues too...that is another problem to tackle.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    After reading your post, my impression is that your daughter is suffering from some "emotional dysregulation"....IOW - there is not necessarily an external trigger that is causing her to rage. She may have some wiring in her brain that causes her emotions to bubble up, uncontrolled, until they eventually boil over and explode. This is probably not something that she is able to control at this point - so rewards or consequences will have no effect on the raging. Also, there probably will not be any rational explanation - other than her brain is not regulating itself properly.

    If that is the case, you are probably best off having a safe place she can rage (at least until medications can help her get these emotions under control). Remove glass, breakables, sharp objects, etc...and as long as she is not injuring herself - let her be. Otherwise, you become another target at which to vent her rage...
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    read this review of a program I have talked about is nationally known, and in book form now....many here can relate I am sure...very common type of thing in lots of programs for kids who have these kinds of issues.

    Hi, I will stop by again.....but just wanted you to know I am touched by your post. I too have a child who has been aggressive on and off for most of his life and is back in a phase of hurting me about every other day. We always find a way to work through it, and I can always figure out if it is medications or a specific situation. But it sure is exhausting and I lose my way many times.

    The above link goes to what is now a published system--The Zones of Regulation-- and it worked well for my son. Many people are familiar with the five point scale and how does your engine run etc....methods for helping kids modify their emotional states. This Occupational Therapist (OT) is actually from our district and before her book was published our district was using her stuff and they made a program around it for my son. When people were using it it was wonderful (admin made it impossible to run the program and things fell apart). Our home people went to the trainings too so we were all on the same page. She uses things from CPS (Ross Greene), 5 point scale, and many others and kind of fills in the holes. Gives a really concrete way to work on this. My son checks in first thing daily to say which zone he is in. He is really getting good at starting to get to his learning/green zone without prompts. A big difference is that there is a blue zone which is more of a shut down (for my son sometimes a good zone because he is using it to prevent red zone)....some kids have this as their main issue and most of the other programs do not address kids who shut down.

    Just thought I'd share it because it goes nicely with many other skill building types of behavior programs. Sometimes we need concrete things to do with our is hard to figure out those things from some of the books even when what they say clearly describes our situations and problems with alternative systems. What specifically to say and do can be tricky to figure out. In fact I thought we should start some threads about how we have actually have handled situations on this board. I get such good ideas from people here.

    Please do not feel badly for your feelings. For me, I have learned it is situational....when one is being hurt our brains are going to feel negative.... it is HUMAN nature. (I even feel as if he is a stranger and I could fight him and picture myself hurting is an automatic thought and feeling and I have learned it is just instinct, my morals and beliefs and parental feelings over-ride those automatic feelings). I can really relate to that though. Will talk more later if you want to about that. I have worked through it a lot but it is constant accurate messages to myself that help me work through it. Support here too. There are MANY of us in this situation. (my son is adopted too but there are several bio parents here dealing with being hurt by their kids too).

    I haven't read all of the posts, Does your daughter have attachment issues (anywhere on the spectrum...insecure, indiscriminate, just some problems,) or any PTSD from her pre 1 year experiences???

    HUGS, will be back to take Q to school.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    bigbear, if you would like private messages (wont go to your email just private messages here) you need to set your "settings" to accept private messages. Sometimes we can relate and give support but it may be things that are a little too specific to our situations to post on the general forum board here. Totally your choice...but I noticed yours is off because I was going to share with you something about my fresh bruises too (sigh)....

    In any event, please know you are NOT ALONE
  11. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Hi Buddy... I think I fixed the setting so I can accept PMs. Try again and let me know.
  12. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Thanks for so many responses. Just a few things in follow up to your questions.
  13. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Thanks for the comments. Here are a few replies to various questions/comments.
    - Regarding her first 14 months in the orphange... don't know that much about it. However, we were told that she did have a 2 favorite caregivers who had been with them for a long time. She was very happy (always has been... easy to laugh and smile and be silly) even at the orphange. We don't really think that there is significant attachment issues. I am sure that it is there to some degree... that environment woudl be bound to leave a mark but she is very attached to us.
    - Regarding the medicines... yes there are a lot. I am in the pharma business with neuro medications and it still breaks my heart to have her on that many. We have been on many more that we Difficult Child'd... been on this journey for about 2 years. It is weird... some medicines will seem work for 6-8 weeks and then just stop. It has been very hard to find something that has maintained its effectiveness. This summer we may wean her off of everything but the Straterra and just see what baseline is.
  14. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    We got our daughter from a Russian orphanage when she was 9 mos old. We were also told that she was such a happy baby. She came home and started to rage when she didn't get her way. I had to close the windows because I was afraid the neighbors would call the police. She tried to break down her bedroom door during time outs. She calmed down around age 4, put on a good face for us and the world. I wish she hadn't been so adept at hiding the damage to her soul. Now she is almost 16 y.o. and I realize that she has a huge hole in her psyche caused by those few months of emotional solitude.

    She needs to be in control at ALL times. She will not accept hugs, she will give them to me when I least expect them, when my hands are greasy from doing dishes, etc..and I can't reciprocate.She only hugs from the back. We can't do any thing right: " I don't want 6 oreos for school, I want 5! I only want one slice of cheese on my sandwich". She is sneaky and manipulative. She breaks our heart on a daily basis. She was a cutter for over a year and we had no clue. She ended up in a psychiatric hospital. She accused one of us of molestation. We will never be a real family again.

    I refuse to believe that months in an orphanage will leave no scars. She is a gorgeous blond, blue eyed girl and told me she feels revulsion when she looks in the mirror. We have worked very hard to create a loving, safe family. She actually behaves as if she resents us for having taken her out of her environment. Maybe it's survivor guilt as well as Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)?
  15. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Three Shadows... My heart goes out to you reading your post.

    I too really believe that there are definately lingering effects from orphanage stay. TRex really doesn't seem to have attanchment issues and she really is a happy kid. With her it seems like there is an internal spring that over the course of a day, week or whatever... gets wound tighter and tighter and tighter until... she's gonna blow. And when she blows she is totally irrational and out of control. We go thru times when she seems to be better in control and can "feel it coming" and tell us to leave her alone or will go outside. However, sometimes it is like she doesn't try to control it... that is what is soooo frustrating. Sometimes it is hard to believe that she cant and husband and I vasilate back and forth between can she or can't she.
  16. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Many of you have asked about school for TRex. We have been thru public, private Montessori, homeschool and finally to a private school for kids with Learning Differences. There are about 6 kids in her class (all with ADHD.. some with high functioning Autism) and a teacher who is very willing to make modifications to ensure TRex learns as she learns best. So it is a great setting for her. Academically, she does well in school but admittantly she is not a grade level. Her ADHD really makes it hard for her to concentrate and do her best and we have really struggled to find something that takes care of it. (The Straterr and Kapvay work well but still room for improvements but stimulants for her was a VERY bad thing). Socially, she is sweet and helpful but gets silly alot and doesn't always catch the social cues. Luckily everyone in the school struggles with that to some degree so that is something that they talk about often.

    Starting to realize that some of the "mouthy" stuff and moods are hormonal... god help us! She turned 9 earlier this year. She has been using deoderant for about 6 months especially in summer and have just noticed hair growth. You have got to be kidding me!!!! I know this will add a new challenge to staying in control. Looks like it is time to up my Lexapro dose ;-)
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just because she "can" some of the time, does NOT mean she "can" all of the time.

    It's an on-going thing... we've been there done that with other issues. If a kid "can" write a sentence, then they "can" write a paragraph - right? (WRONG). If a kid "can" do it on Monday after 2 weeks off, then he "can" do it on the last Friday before spring break - right? (WRONG).

    There will be layers to this. There will be one or more "sequence of events", or a fatigue cycle, or something.

    Have you seen the "parent report"? It's somewhere on the Site Help and Resources forum... or you can look for any posting by susiestar, she has the link in her signature... It would help you capture all the past and on-going details. You could also start a journal - daily. Look back for possible triggers etc.

    Have you seen the book The Explosive Child? Lots of us find it helpful. The author has a different philosophy about kids and this whole can/can't thing. Most people seem to believe that kids do well "if they want to"; the author of this book believes that kids do well "if they can".
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh. Ya. Hormones? I'd have been suggesting that if she was 11 or 12... but some kids, it does kick in earlier, and yes, it DOES make things more complex!
  19. Snoopy

    Snoopy New Member

    bigbear11...your daughter may not have attachment issues but in my humble opinion it sounds as though she's experiencing the lingering effects of trauma and neglect. And chances are...she truly cannot control her behavior. It may "look" like she can but in reality, she can't. When she slips into the primitive part of her brain due to any sort of stressor (the fight, flight, freeze mode called the pons part of the brain), she is truly in survival mode. This is what allowed her to survive in the orphanage setting. It's like someone hijacks her brain and she has no control. This is VERY common in a child who lived in an orphanage or any child who was neglected...on purpose or otherwise. My internationally adopted daughter had attachment issues and trauma but her behaviors were similar to what you describe. I have a friend who lives in my neighborhood and her daughter has zero attachment issues but she suffers from the neurological effects of living in an orphanage...trauma, neglect, and abuse...and she has self regulation issues. Kiddos like ours did not get that early nurturing and tender loving care so their brains are different. In order to heal this, their brains must be healed. Know too that it's VERY normal for theses challenges to be cyclical. They will do fine for awhile and then the bottom will fall out. I see that you think you can receive PMs now. I'm going to try to send you that long message I mentioned in my previous post. It will come in 7 separate PMs because it's so long.