new and flailing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by moonraven24, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. moonraven24

    moonraven24 New Member

    I'm new to this group as of today...I was searching around for someplace to vent. I think I need help. My daughters are 10 yrs and 2yrs and I have gotten to a point where I dread coming home from work because I don't want to be around them. My older one especially. She has been in and out of treatment for various mental health issues and is on medications (Lamictal), but I feel no bond with her. I never have actually- she and I have never really had any real relationship since she was born. I was 20 and pretty messed up back then. I mean, I make sure she has clothes and food, and I make sure she has what she needs when she needs it,but other than a sort of controlling, 'do what I say' feeling, I never really feel with her like I do with my little one. She is currently diagnosed bi-polar, PTSD, and they say a now the possibility of conduct disorder. I've been battling with her since she was 2 1/2 years old. I think sometimes if she spent the rest of her life away from me I would not feel anything...except maybe fact the group home she was just in discharged her last week (she went in for walking her little sister in highway speed traffic and cutting herself, but after six weeks they said she no longer required 24hr supervision, so the insurance said she had to go home now) and now that she's home I feel even more resentful toward her. My two year old was doing great till the older one came home, and now the little one just cries all the time, has started hitting, biting and being angry all the time. My babysitter says she's a totally different kid now that my oldest has come home again. I work all day, then I come home, cook dinner, give the baby a bath, and try to get my schoolwork done (working on my Master's). I can't concentrate on school, work, or my kids at any time. I feel like the world is closing in on me and I'm trapped by everything all the time. I don't feel like I have any control at home anymore- my older one is manipulating everything and my little one completely disregards everything I say now that my oldest is home again. My husband works on the road, so I am by myself in this. He can't come home for any length of time (he does come for one day a week now) until February of next year due to a contract he signed. So, I'm doing this by myself. House, work, kids, school, pets, etc etc etc. Some days I wish he'd come home so I could pack my bags and just leave and start over someplace else, with no kids, no husband, just me. I get so angry sometimes and I scream and yell and my kids get scared, and the dogs get scared, and then I feel like a horrible person and get depressed. What kind of mom has two kids and only wants one of them, if any? I started sleepwalking about a month and a half ago and having panic attacks in my sleep- I wake up and I can't breathe and I have to get out of bed and turn on the lights to try and calm down. I put notice in at my work..I'm quitting because I can't function- don't know what I'll do when I leave, but I have to cut out something...The money my husband makes will be enough to get us by for a couple months without me working, so a couple of months is how long I plan to be out of work...I don't have any time or money to see a therapist, (I'll have time when I leave my job next week, but no extra ironic), but I think I might need to. Last night I actually felt like I understood mothers who abuse their children - At the end of their rope, no help, no outlet, freaking out and nobody understands no matter how much you try to explain. People just look at you like you're crazy when you say you can't stand your kids... I feel like such a horrible parent. I don't even want to go home anymore when I get out of work. Has anyone else been here?
  2. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Hello & welcome! Yes, others have been there....including myself! Do you have any way possible to get a break???? It sounds like you need some time to breathe. I'm sorry you are going through all of this.
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi moonraven

    You sound so overwhelmed -- definately there's a lot on your plate.

    Children with-neurological disorders can certainly wear a parent out.

    In my opinion, it takes a lot of courage for a mom to acknowledge that there is not a bond with-a child.

    One thing many of us have come to realize is that if we are not physically or mentally healthy, we can't effectively care for our families. We have to be selfish and take care of ourselves first. It goes against everything we've been taught, so it's hard to do.

    I think putting your job on the backburner right now is a good move. If I were in your situation, I hope I would be able to get myself to a counselor to help work through the attachment problems and other emotional issues you likely have. If there is a teaching University nearby with a psychiatric department, try there. They sometimes provide counceling at reduced cost or no cost. If that's not a potential solution, check with you local mental health/mental retardation office and see if you can get services via their offices. National organizations such as NAMI, FFCMH, etc., could also be potential contacts for you.

    Is there someone in the family that might could take your oldest daughter at least for the summer?

    Glad you found us.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board.
    in my opinion first and foremost YOU need to go for treatment--go to the county mental health clinic with the sliding scale if you can't afford another place. Sometimes they allow you to go for free--this is where I go and I have a great therapist. Also, you may need medication. You sound extremely depressed. in my opinion once the depression is taken care of (I have a lot of experience with both depression and panic disorder) you'll be able to better deal with your kids and maybe even feel better about the older one. But you have to feel better about yourself first. I agree about putting work on the backburner. Maybe school too for now.
    As for your daughter, I don't know your early history and I don't need to know. You said you were "messed up." If you drank or did drugs while you were pregnant that could adversely affect your daughter, especially the drinking. She could be difficult due to prenatal drug exposure.
    Also, if you never bonded with her she could be suffering from not only mental illness or perhaps a form of high functioning autism but a form of attachment disorder. She can tell if you never wanted her...I'm NOT judging you here. I'm trying to explain. If you didn't cuddle or nurture her, she could develop attachment problems. Also, look at mental illness on both sides of her family tree to see other reasons she may be acting out. Has she ever seen a psychiatrist? A neuropsychologist? What behaviors worry you?
    We want to help you.
  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome, you have found a wonderful place to vent. Everyone here is so kind and knowledgeable. When I was reading your post I felt like you were talking about me. I have some of the same issues, my older child, difficult child is 17 and she makes me crazy. My younger son does act out when she is home. She was away for almost 2 years at a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and since she has been home (since feb) my life is upside down. I too want to run away, I hate being home and feel so overwhelmed myself. Then, I too feel horrible guilt and get really down on myself. So you are not alone!!! Plenty of us know exactly what are you are going through. Raising children with special needs is no easy task, it seems like it never ends!!!

    I would be a hypocrite to give you any advise as I am still feeling so much like you. I think we both need to seek therapy. We need an outlet that is just about us, not our children. When you have no time and no money this can be a bit difficult. I know firsthand.

    Others will be along with their words of wisdom. Hang in there and God bless. :)
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi! I can't offer better advice than what MWM and Sheila have already given but I wanted to Welcome you and let you know that this is a great place with a lot of experience and support to offer. You have taken a big and difficult step in acknowledging how you feel and the issues that you're dealing with regarding your kids. If you pursue the suggestions given, I think you'll be on the right track.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    For sure it is time to focus on you. You need to seek treatment for yourself. When you are stronger, then you can work on your children's issues.

    Please, find a way to get to a doctor or clinic.
  8. moonraven24

    moonraven24 New Member

    Thanks so much for everyone's comments. I realize that I didn't really give a lot of info, and was more venting because I was sitting here at my desk not wanting to be at work, but dreading 5pm at the same time. I'm gonan give some background- I apologize for the length this will probably be, but maybe someone else has insight that can only be had by getting the details. I had my daughter when I was 20. I didn't do any drugs or drink while pregnant, but emotionally I was a mess. Her father and I split when I was just 2 months pregnant and he wanted me to abort, saying I couldn't possibly be a good mom...ever. I refused and made it my mission to prove him wrong. When she was born I was more focused on trying to prove a point and be spiteful than love a child. I had no idea what I was doing, and resented her a lot of the time, as I was young and didn't really want/know how to deal with the responsibility. She was diagnosed PTSD with-dissociative disorder at age 3, after a b/f of mine molested her at age 2. We don't know how many times or for how long- he lived in my house for 3 months- we only know that she was definitely molested, there was physical proof of it, and she has always been extremely verbal and was able to tell us just about everything. At that time I started to wake up and try to do 'mom' stuff cause I felt like it was my fault. I had dated a bunch of guys just so I didn't have to be alone, and in the process put my child in a situation like that. I was going through a lot of stuff then, including a rape that happened in my own apartment. I'm also diagnosed bi-polar and PTSD, and was switching medications and seeing several docs. They said that her controlling behavior and out of control tantrums were a result of her molestation. That the abuse took away her control, so she felt the need to regain it everywhere else in her life. At the time it made sense. We stayed in therapy from then till now. She's been seen by psychotherapists, psychiatrists, had exams, testing, IQ testing, etc etc. We've examined the possibilities of ODD, ADD,and even DID because of her tendency to dissociate. The kid has about an 128-130 IQ, so there's no issues in that department other than she is smarter than I am at a 124 :). At age 6 she began precocious puberty, and we had to start seeing a pediatric endocrinologist for that. She went on Lupron at age 8 to slow it down until this past April when she turned 10. She is off that now. Two years ago she was diagnosed COBD by her long time psychotherapist and psychiatrist, but we didn't do medications because I hated the idea of putting my little girl on medications so young. We moved from New Hampshire to Oklahoma in August of 06. Last school year her behaviors began to escalate. She never really had good social skills with friends, but they got worse, and she started stealing more, lying more, and she got sneakier than I have ever seen. I can't possibly list all the stuff she does, but trust me, it blows my mind and sometimes even the therapist shakes her head in disbelief. Her intelligence makes it very difficult because she thinks of things to do that most adults I know wouldn't. She doesn't break stuff and hurt people directly- she does everything in a way that you don't know its happening until it is too late. Its all very quiet and sneaky. In March of '07 she put Germ-X in her teacher's drink on her desk. When the teacher drank some of it, she immediately realized something was wrong, looked around, and saw my daughter, smirking at her, from the back of the classroom. Campus police got involved, the school wanted to expel her, but instead we made an agreement to get her re-evaluated with psychiatric, and she spent the rest of the school year in a self-contained classroom. I've seen that smirk more than once since then. Its like she takes pleasure in knowing she has made others upset. She doesn't show remorse for things she does unless she picks up on the societal cue that she should feel bad. She'll look around, see people are upset, and then puts on a sad face, like she suddenly feels bad about it. Maybe I'm crazy, but the look in her eye says different to me. Other people say she's charming, smart, and wonderful to deal with. They say she's helpful and empathetic and blah blah blah. At home she is the complete opposite..making everything take 3x's as long as it should, she's rude and obnoxious, and enjoys frustrating me to the point of tears while she smirks. The dangerous stuff started this year- cutting herself, putting her 2 year old sister in dangerous situations, etc. People who haven't seen her in action look at me like I'm crazy when I try to explain her behaviors. I often feel like that guy with the singing frog in the box from the old Looney Tunes cartoons..does anyone remember that? The therapist here in Oklahoma says we're looking at CD along with the COBD, and that her lack of remorse is more disturbing than anything else. It is to me too, but most people don't see it because she's getting better and better at reading facial expressions and knowing what the 'appropriate' response should be. I have gone to school for psychology, drug/alcohol rehabilitation, criminal justice, and right now I'm halfway through my Masters in Criminal Justice. I'm no dummy, but she makes me feel like I'm in kindergarten, hiding in a corner from the boogeyman. I say we have little bond , but I know that's not entirely true. I worry about her and I feel horrible when I'm yelling at her, and I am scared to death when I can't find her when she goes off on her little 'unauthorized walks' she often does to scare me. But we never have any good feelings it seems. The idea of taking her someplace fun and doing stuff with her just exhausts me thinking about it. I can't stand taking her places and doing things with her because I am always suspicious of what she is doing when I'm not looking or what she has done that I don't know about yet. She was only at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 6 weeks. The first two they acted like I didn't know what I was talking about, then they started to see her behaviors, but she quickly adapted to the environment and realized what it was they wanted to see. Last Wednesday they discharged her, saying that we could handle it from here in outpatient therapy-that she didn't need 24 hour supervision for safety any longer. The only long term Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s they have here require that I give custody to DHS or put her in a religiously based program, which is out of the question- I'm not Christian and I refuse to put her in a program where they are going to make her study the bible three times day. I did call those places though. One was 8 hours away and they said that even if she came in a non-christian, she will be a christian when she leaves. That was all I had to hear. I'm not knocking anyone's religion, but I'm all set with what sounds like a violation of rights to me. I'm also not giving her to the state, so I feel pretty stuck.
    Her first therapy out of the group home isn't till July 7th, which they set up, not me. I wish I had someone who would take her for the summer or even for longer than one night at a time. Most people don't trust her, and my family is very 'arm's length' with each other. My dad, who lives here in OK, makes superficial attempts at being involved, but that's about it, and the rest of my family is in various parts of the country. I don't have more than a few friends here because I never even have time to step out of my house except for work and grocery shopping. Most of them know how she is anyway and won't take her - many adults are scared of her. I even do my classes online because I don't have time to go to a brick and mortar school. I guess i just needed to find someplace where other people have similar issues..I just always feel isolated.
  9. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    We've been told by my son's psychiatrist that emotion inappropriate to the situation (in your case, smirking) is a symptom of mania, which as you well know, is part of Bipolar Disorder.

    Is she taking any medications at this point?
    If so, what?
    Are they helping, hurting or keeping things about the same?
    If she truly has Bipolar Disorder, nothing's going to get better until her mood is stabilized on medications.

    When you get a chance, please create a signature similar to mine below. It helps us remember your family when we respond to your posts. Click on this link to find out how:

    It would be helpful to break up your writing into paragraphs the next time you post. Old tired eyes like mine have a hard time reading huge blocks of text.

    Again, welcome.
  10. Welcome, you have found a wonderful place here on CD. Everyone is very friendly and helpful.

    I am so sorry you are having so many problems with your daughter. I don't have any advice for you but wanted to offer a hug.

  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow. I want to add my welcome .. and also add that I agree in finding a way to get help for yourself. When I felt like I didn't have time for my own therapist years ago, the one treating my daughter ended up taking a little time out of each session for me, or staying late to talk to me, and that helped some. You metion you are bipolar, are you current on your own medication? I'm sure you know that's really important.. maybe you even need to go in to have it "tweaked" a bit.

    Many hugs to you.
  12. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us. It is good that you recognize that you are feeling overwhelmed and while money may be tight, a break from work will take one thing off your plate. Is your daughter in some kind of summer program? If you are both home all day together, things may be more difficult for you both. Were there any follow up services other than counseling provided when your daughter left the group home? We do not have any family in our area and my son recently qualified for intensive behavioral services from a county agency. He has a worker that takes him 12 hours per week and works on his goals. This small amount of respite has been a godsend for me. I hope you can find an opportunity to get some time for yourself and perhaps when you are feeling some relief then you can work on building a better relationship with your daughter. You have been very frank about your feelings towards your daughter and while they are understandable, the "unwanted" feeling could be having a profound effect on your daughter's behavior which creates a vicious cycle because the more she acts out the more the feelings are justified. I have not read all the posts you've received but by now someone has probably suggest reading the Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It will help you to reframe conflict situations and better deal with your daughter.

    I wish you the very best in getting help for your family,
  13. moonraven24

    moonraven24 New Member

    In response to CrazyinVA, I've actually been off of Bi-Polar medications about 6 years. My doctor figured out that I am actually Bi-Polar II, and that Lithium and Depakote, which I was on for years, did me more harm than good. I now have permanent thyroid damage and liver damage from those medicines, which never really did much for me, since I don't get manic and they work better for mania control. When I get unmanageably down, I can usually get back on track with lexapro for a few months, and that has only been the last two years since my little one was born. PPD seems to last for over a year for me..I know it did with my difficult child, and with my little one it was not quite as bad, but hung around a while. I was seeing the sliding scale mental health clinic then. Now I have insurance so they won't see me, but I will soon be off insurance when I stop working, so I may have to wait until then to get back in. Other than that I have been off of medications as much as possible.

    In response to Christy, no they gave us no real services at all. They promised us 'wrap around services' which I thought meant some help after discharge, but I guess all it meant was that the case manager would set up a therapy appointment to follow discharge. That was it. There doesn't seem to be much of anything around here. Heck, I'm hard pressed to find a therapist that takes kids, never mind find programs for her. We have some problems getting her into extracurricular programs and things with the school because she has been branded as the 'kid who poisoned her teacher".
    I didn't really have time to plan for her coming home either. I went to the group home for family therapy on Wednesday during my lunch break at work and they said, "Guess what? We're discharging her today. You can come back after work and pick her up." So, I have had no time to get anything in place. I was in shock. I protested, but apparently medicaid said that if she didn't need 24 hour watch, she didn't need to be there.
    I planned to leave work July 3rd, as I thought she would be coming home sometime after that, and I had this whole plan regarding how I would get everything organized and set up specific rules and chores and a schedule and stuff -she always does better if she knows what is expected and its consistent- just like most kids. Then last Wednesday with no warning I was given back my child, who apparently has manipulated the system. She did what she thought they wanted, and now she is home. Now she knows what it takes to get put back there (i.e. dangerous behavior/cutting/putting others in danger/etc) so she keeps her behavior just below that line.
    I am worried about staying home with her all day, because even though it will give me a chance to get things in order, I'm worried about she and I being in each other's face all day and the baby being in the middle. At the same time, I feel like I have to get control of my home again. Right now she is dictating the tone of everything. I feel like I need to get a white board, list the rules, and a schedule, and make everybody stick to it. That's what the group home suggested anyway, and it sounds good in theory. I'll have to just see how it goes.

    In response to smallworld, yes she is on medications- Lamictal 50mg 2x day. It has worked great for the COBPD. The smirking is not related to the least her therapist doesn't think so. She thinks its because she gets pleasure out of making everything chaotic. She enjoys the control it gives her and that she has that effect on others. She will start arguments in our house just to watch the fireworks fly. She's not manic... her teacher called it a pretty evil look. I've seen it and I would have to agree. She had me really frustrated in a car one day..I actually started to cry (which I really try not to do around her because I don't feel she needs to see it) and she asked what was wrong and I said I was just frustrated and I wished I knew how to get her to stop lying and stealing. I looked in the mirror, and she was smirking... and after a few seconds she said- "well you can't."
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy, I remember those phone calls from the hospital .. "she's been discharged, come and get her!" and the panic I felt. I got to the point when it happened for like the 3rd time, I was ready to refuse to pick her up, and just let the chips fall where they may, just so she'd get help. I went so far as to threaten to give up my parental rights and let the county step in, just so she'd get into residential treatment. I wrote a scathing letter to the director of social services about how they were letting down my child, and were they going to wait until she had killed herself before they'd step in? That's what finally got her in... I didn't have to sign away my rights, but I entered into an agreement where they took temporary physical custody, to make her medicaid-eligible.

    Have you called your county about wrap-around services? That's where I got the most services for Youngest.. inhome counseling etc.

    I urge you to get back to a psychiatrist asap and talk about medications for yourself. Many things have changed in 6 years ... there are certainly more options than lithium or depakote.
  15. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sounds like you have some good ideas about providing structure at home :) I wish you the best. Keep trying to get some additional services so you can have some time for yourself. Try the Mental Health Association.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I sent you a PM. If you look to the top right of the screen you will see where it says Welcome Moonraven and when you last visited. It should say Private Messages and you can just click on that. Otherwise if you go to the User CP you can get to private messages.

    I know the look, and not wanting to let them see you cry. I know about the so called wrap around services. Here in OK they mean "call your own doctor to get an appointment", or "call this doctor we got out of the phone book and see what happens"

    I have been there done that for much of what you say. I also live in OK, so I know the system here. Sending lots of hugs and support.

  17. moonraven24

    moonraven24 New Member I looked into wraparound services and found 'Wraparound Tulsa'. I filled out their referral form and faxed it from work yesterday. I got a call back within a couple hours from a very nice woman who said that the treatment team only meets once a month and that they wouldn't be reviewing our situation until August. Wow.. that is definitely the downside to moving to Oklahoma- I can't believe the lack of services for children here. If she was at least 12 I could get more for her, but because she's not there is nothing. If she was a boy there would even be more options, but apparently in OK girls under the age of 12 don't have problems... ugh. That is something I miss about New England-plenty of treatment options. She did give me two facilities that handle inpatient and long term RT that I had not previously gotten information about. It is like pulling teeth to get anybody to tell you anything here-her therapist had no idea about any programs in the area and actually referred me to some long term program in Texarkana, AR that is religion based. That was the one where they told me they would convert her to a Christian in order to treat her. I couldn't believe that counselors and therapists here are so damn clueless..they don't know where to refer us to. So anyway- one is about 90 minutes away and the other is in Nevada, MO which is a couple hours I think. She knows what will get her back in, so she's keeping her 'low profile' right now- just enough to bug the hell out of me, but not enough to be considered 'a danger'. She is too smart. :smug:
  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Wanted to add my're gotten lots of good's hoping they can get something in place for you very soon.
  19. Holliewho

    Holliewho New Member


    I totally understand about the hubby not home thing. My husband is in the Navy. Right now he is home but he can be gone from anywhere from 6 wks to 14 months and I have 4 monkeys. I also go to school online because its the easiest thing for me.

    Honestly even though your father tends to flake out you need to call him. Tell him she needs a man to help guide her and with the current situation that it is imperative that he help you. Even if its only once every 2 wks its actually better than nothing. Maybe even remind him. Hey you said you would be taking XXX on Tuesday for a few hours, I am just calling to remind you because she is really looking forward to some Grandpa time. Stuff like that. Also I dont know about Oklahoma but there are services that school districts have to offer as part of their SPED programs. Some of these services go on year round but the child has to qualify. So she may not qualify but its worth looking into.

    Maybe you can find help for her within these. Does she have an IEP/plan 504? When does school start back up for her? Every state is different but most its in August.
  20. moonraven24

    moonraven24 New Member

    I wish my dad would respond to stuff like that..but he's a master at evasion...LOL. That's a whole other story.. I moved here to be closer to him and I talk to him less now that I'm only 20 minutes away than I did when I was 1700 miles away. I have seen him face to face maybe 10 times in 2 years. When we talk he is always in a hurry to get off the phone..he also has a new baby (my newest sibling..that makes 6 of us with different moms over the course of 32 years) so he always has that excuse too.

    My difficult child doesn't qualify for the year round programs because she is high functioning (IQ 128, tests at 9th grade level at age 10). The summer SPED programs are not appropriate for her..we tried it last year and she spent the whole time manipulating the borderline MR and handicapped kids. Her IEP excludes her from those programs, because she doesn't need academic support.