new here and in real need of support

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by loosinghope2008, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. loosinghope2008

    loosinghope2008 New Member

    My daughter is 15 and we've been dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), ODD, and ADHD for years. Recently she's been demonstrating some conduct disorders behaviors.

    I'm really feeling hopeless and at my wits ends. My daughters therapist suggested I find a support forum to reach out to.

    I hopin' finding some other parents like me will help. As my username indicates I'm quickly loosing hope. I've done all I can do for my daughter and nothing seems to be helping, in fact, she seems to be getting worse. I'm feeling robbed as a parent, where I don't get to enjoy my daughter and I'm feeling exhausted with dealing with this every day. I'm a prisoner in my home having to lock things up and monitor her every action. She has so much going for her, but its all being lost or overshadowed by her behavior.

    I'm struggling and just need some support.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us help you.
    What kind of doctor diagnosed your daughter? When was her last evaluation?
    Is she taking any medications? If so, what and what are the doses?
    How does she do in school, both academically and with peers?
    What behaviors particularly concern you?

    Again, welcome. You're not alone any longer.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm so sorry you had to find us, but glad you did. I know when I found this group, I was googling my son's behaviors at 3am... so I know what you brings you here isn't pleasant.

    BUT you've found a great community.

    If you can answer small worlds questions, or create a profile, its helpful to everyone to know what you're dealing with and serves as a reminder when we see you.

    Again, sorry you're in this situation, but welcome.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome. It is difficult to live with and like a child who is so hard to parent. Here you will find support and understanding. It helps to know you are not alone in the journey.
  5. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    I am sorry for your pain. You have found a great place to reach out to others who have similiar problems with our children. I hope you can find some peace of mind by realizing you aren't alone.

  6. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    Welcome! This really is a soft place to land with a lot of great advice from people who understand. I check the postings on this site twice a day. I was so depressed and feeling like a failure as a parent when I found this site. NOW I know it is not me and my child has a condition like many other children. I am sorry you had to find us too, but I am glad you did. Hang in are NOT alone!
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So glad you found us! You are so not alone and will fine compassion and understanding here. Hugs.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just wanted to add my welcome. :flowers:
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. It's hard when your child isn't like other's kids. I have a few questions.
    Who, if anyone, ever diagnosed your daughter and what medications is she on, if any?
    Are there are mood disorders or substance abuse on the family tree?
    Did your daughter have any delays in her early development--speech, poor eye contact, obsessions (like lining up toys), sensitivity to clothing, light or sound, trouble with transitions? Does she have trouble with social skills now? Any obsessive interests, such as computers? How does she do in school?
    There could be a good explanation for her being so different. Has she ever had a neuropsychologist evaluation? Perhaps more is going on than meets the eye. I would look into it as she isn't getting any better with the current diagnosis and treatment, and it could be that the professionals that she's seen so far have missed the boat. I certainly would not trust a regular therapist to make a diagnosis. Welcome to the board.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am so sorry that you are struggling with your daughter's behavior. Most, if not all of us here, have had similar feelings when trying to cope with the extra responsibilities and stresses of parenting a special needs child. It is so wonderful that you are seeing a therapist. I think that has got to be the first and best step you could take when trying to manage such a major stressor in your life. What about a local support group of like minded parents? Is there a NAMI or Parent's Annonmous Group in your city?

    I agree with what the others have said and had some of the same thoughts as Midwest Mom. It's probably best to make absolutely certain of your child's diagnosis. Second opinions and/or additional testing are almost always a good idea. Is your child on medication? Sometimes, this can be helpful.

    Make sure you take very special care of your health..this includes your spiritual, physical and emotional well being. There may be days that you will have to put your needs aside, but make sure that this is not an every day occurance. Have a plan to take care of your own needs so that you can be strong to help your child.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Just popping in to offer my welcome. We have all been where you are right now....and will be again. It's the norm when raising difficult children.

    I've felt prisoner in my home & had to find something for just me here. I took up a couple of hobbies that filled that locked in feeling - where I could lose myself while the chaos ensued about me. Just something to consider for yourself. This isn't your illness however it affects the entire family; mother's especially it seems.

    Again, welcome. Hope you come about again & hang out with the best group of parents you can find.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Stick around, we can help. Sometimes just talking about it can help.

    A strong suggestion - get your hands on a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It really helps. I am about to outline a little of how it works.

    Your daughter is 15, which means some bad patterns have been set up which will need to be unlearned (by you and her). Sometimes a lot of what is wrong is that you are trying all the usual parenting techniques, all the discipline methods, which you were raised with and which have been so successful for others. The trouble is, these often not only don't work with difficult children, sometimes they can make our kids far worse.

    I said on someone else's thread, I don't treat ODD as a specific, separate, incurable disorder which I just need to learn to live with; instead, I view it as a set of problems which have been caused by a clash between my child's brain functioning, and my discipline methods. I can't change my child's brain but I CAN change how I handle him. And it has made a huge difference to us.

    First step - don't try to discipline if it's not working. It is better to not engage at all, than to engage and lose the battle.

    Second, work out what is making her tick. Get inside her head. What upsets her? What does she like? What does she hate? How does she seem to think? And most important of all, what pushes her buttons and makes her really rage at you? And how can you prevent such a rage when you notice one beginning? What are the early warning signs?

    Third, make a list of all the things you want to change about her; all the problem behaviours.
    Now look closely at the list. Some of the things on the list are likely to be beyond her capabilities at the moment. Forget about her age - our kids mature in different ways, at different times and cannot be held up for comparison based on their age. difficult child 1 is very bright, but is still not good with self-care issues such as washing himself, changing his clothes and tying his shoes. He chooses shoes which don't have laces.

    Now look at your list again. Choose the behaviours you feel absolutely MUST be dealt with NOW, even if it leads to a meltdown.
    Chances are, this is a long list. But sorry, you must cull almost everything. The only things which should be in this first list - Basket A - are immediate safety, and maybe school attendance. For example, you have an impulsive five year old who hates to be touched, but his ball has just gone out onto the road and a truck is coming. You would grab the child to stop him running out in front of the truck, even though you know this will provoke a meltdown.

    Now look at the stuff you have just culled from your list. Pick the five most urgent/important things and call them Basket B. These are what you will work on for now, but if you notice a rage beginning, you will back off.

    Everything else goes into Basket C - we're not dealing with these at all for now. Only as things improve and graduate out of Basket B, do you move things from C to B.

    What should begin to happen is at some level she will begin to see that you are trying to help her maintain control. This is appreciated. The child eventually comes to see you as an ally instead of an adversary. As this slowly happens, the automatic oppositional behaviour should lessen. Of course, it can come back in a flash at a later stage but sticking with this technique seems to increasingly lead to better self-control and subsequent progress with learning more appropriate behaviours.

    You may find some things just don't seem to be improving. If this is the case, it could be that it's simply beyond her for the moment, so move them to Basket C and put something else in its place.

    This method sometimes seems counter-intuitive, some observers may accuse you of giving in too easily or spoiling the child. It's not. What happens is that the child begins to feel more in control and less like a game piece being moved around on a chess board by someone else and more able (with experience) to make their own good decisions.

    Punishments - forget it. Chances are, it's not working. What you need in place is good communication and natural consequences.

    Example of natural consequences - if you're cooking dinner and you leave the pan on the stove to go read a book, the dinner will burn. Good food will have been wasted, dinner will be inedible and the family will be cross with you. This is the natural consequence of you walking away from the responsibility of cooking dinner.

    Another natural consequence - your child takes money from your wallet. The natural consequence is that the child has to pay it back, and also has to expect to not be trusted again for some time. Trust will need to be earned back and the child will also have lost a lot of freedom and privileges which are associated with trust. Grounding a kid as well - not needed. Punishment apparently as justice often is interpreted as vengeance.
    If your kid has driving privileges and crashes the car, this is an automatic grounding because until it's repaired, there is no car! You can add to this if you choose, a requirement for your child to pay for the repairs (some or all). There need be no further punishment, because the natural consequences are in themselves apt and effective. It also means the child can't blame you for their punishment. The only person they can blame is themselves.

    And that's another thing - too often we, and hence our kids, are focussed on blame. This means that the child who feels everything in their life is wrong, will always try to assign blame for each little thing going wrong. It's important to get away from ANY blame as much as possible. Sometimes bad stuff happens to good people - it's true, but hard to accept. What we need to do instead of blame, is learn to pick up the pieces and keep going.

    Our difficult children learn from our behaviour. They aren't as capable of learning what we teach, they need to observe and mimic. So if you punish by vengeance (in their eyes) then they will punish you and their friends (and teachers) in the same way. If your partner uses the silent treatment on you if he is not happy, then your difficult child child will learn to do the same.
    Conversely, if you model the behaviour you want, then it is more likely you will eventually get it.

    Anyway, read the book. It explains it all much better than I can. It really does make life easier. It's not a cure, but it can be a big help.

  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Welcome! I hope we can be of some help. It is difficult to figure out how to deal with a child that is on a downward spiral. It is almost more difficult to realize that it starts with taking care of yourself first. Find ways to have moments of joy in your life.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Dear Loosing Hope,

    You know I think it's been YEARS since I looked up the definition of the word hope. I mean if you asked me today "What IS hope?" I could give a fairly accurate account. But as you'll find out - I must know things. So I looked it up.

    Hope means to cherish a desire with expectations of fulfillment. To long for expectation of obtainment. To expect wtih desire. TRUST RELIANCE. Desire accompanied by the expectation or belief in fulfilment.

    Pretty deep really. And when they are born and we raise them the best way we can, when they go left of center we often think it is OUR fault. That WE as parents have done something improper, and we start second guessing EVERY little aspect and detail of our children's lives. And when they are born (describe it how you will) we think/forecast/dream about what that little person will be, where they will go with our guidance, how they will greet the world when they are old enough, every milestone scrutinized under close parental watch for the tiniest little blurb from suspected norms.

    So when we are hit with something like a difficult child - it waylays us into oblivion. They do something, we forgive, they do it again, we forgive, they do it again - and we think AM I NUTS? THIS IS INSANE. And then TRUST are RELIABILITY (=HOPE) for our children go right out the window with a hefty helping of "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE YOUNG LADY?" Once anyone betrays your trust - it can take years to regain it. Yet our children don't give us that option. The just keep coming back for more, and we take it and take it until we say screaming through tears "I HAVE HAD ENOUGH - I CAN NOT TAKE ANY MORE OF THIS." and we fall to the ground in a heap and puddle ourselves for an hour with hard tears. Three little words - learn to detach. At her age, she needs counseling, but will she go? If she goes; will she participate? Will you go - how about the family - at this point I can tell you without sounding like Dr. Spock (the baby dr. Not the Vulcan) that everyone that is living with a difficult child can benefit from therapy, effective communication, and detachment - also learning how NOT to trigger an argument is beautiful!

    Think about it WHO else do you know with a kid that behaves like yours? (Not including us here) but seriously? So you start once again comparing your child to those around you and second guessing yourself as a parent. It will make you insane. Learning how to accept that your kids is who she is because she is who she is - is first. Searching for help to change those behaviors is second. Well actually third if you count endless prayers - but that's pretty much standard in our house =like the first before first.

    However you found us - doesn't matter. The fact that you ARE looking is a huge first step to your recovery. You have found friends who won't judge, have advice, a serious amount of been there done that echos in every one of our parents irregardless of the age of their children. And some of us are down-right funny. Some of us have no organic disorders, some parents have issues with Bi-Polar which gives the rest of us an adult look at the disorder. Some of us are about a twig snap away from our whole tree coming down. Some of us - are tired and angry. All of us - care.

    Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone - is the nicest security bandage to keep your sanity inside your brain box.

    Oh and by the way - just under hope - was Horatio Alger -
    of or relating to the fiction of Horatio Alger in which success is achieved through self-reliance and hard work. -We provide support for self reliance in spades - the hard work is up to you.

  15. loosinghope2008

    loosinghope2008 New Member

    No problem. I'm just thankful for the support.

    She was diagnosed by her psychiatrist. She was last seen just a few weeks ago and will be seeing her again on Monday. She also receives weekly counseling therapy.

    The medications she takse are: Depakote; Prozac; Adderall XR; and recently added YAZ to try to combate with the serious PMDD she's dealing with.

    She's an excellent academic. She is in the advanced classes and normally excells beautifully. She plays the flute and piano. And shes a very beautiful girl, but doesn't seem to know it. As for peers, well she's had alot of issues. She engages in alot of lying and drama, in addition, she can be very bossy. This year, after receiving her vacine for cervical cancer, Gardisal, she told her kids in her band that she HAD cervical cancer. I was pulled into the guidance counselors office saying kids parents were contacting the school concerned. I was morified!

    The behavior that concerns me the most is her sexuality. She's been engaging in online internet sexual discussions on a site called meebo. Apparently there are chat rooms there were you can "hook up" and talk sexually to strangers. We've done all we can to block the site, but she keeps figuring out ways around it. I've even contacted the site to remove her account, but she knows she can just create a new one. What's worse, is several of these men have given her their phone number, and she's been calling them for "phone sex". We've caught her 3 times this week stealing the phone, once in the middle of the night. I keep the computers and phones with me at all times, but at some point the phone needs to charge. Her therapist says she exibits signs of sexual addiction, even though she has never engaged in real sex (as her gynocologist confirmed). Her therapist says its a compulsion.

    The other big concern, as I mention, is her lying. She will lie about absolutely everything. There seems to be no reason for the lies. While at times she'll lie to avoid getting in trouble, even when she knows I know the truth, she continues to lie. She seems to lie compulsively.
  16. loosinghope2008

    loosinghope2008 New Member

    Let me answer a few of these questions, not addressed in my previous post.

    Her father has some "issues". We are divorced. The marriage was violent and while she was just a toddler, she did lay witness to it. He is himself a compulsive liar and often lives out a fantasy life in real life. He once told my sons school that he would arrange a demonstration from Life Flight and have the helicopter come to the school. This was a total lie as he had no affiliation with them at all. My daughter doesn't have much contact with him, only seeing him when she visits her grandmother. But she is well aware of his on-going behavior. I also have two nieces who have "issues", one of which is an extreme bipolar and who ultimately had two children with special needs I ended up adopting.

    I should mention that both the boys I adopted, had alot of significant involvement when I adopted them. I spent a huge amount of time and attention with them going to multiple doctors and had at one point nine therapist a week. I know my daughter feels some resentment towards them as they got way more of my attention then she did. She has gotten to the point where she is not kind to them, and we have to make sure she isn't left alone with them, otherwise she'll be mean to them.

    She was an early developer achieving all milestones early. She a hardworker and very helpful. She has offered to help many in our church and family clean their homes, and says its something she enjoys. In fact, often times she'll make herself a cleaning list on Saturdays and just start cleaning the house. Although she can become a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) about it, to the point of cleaning the kitchen floor with a toothpick! I didn't overly mind that, cause I got a nice clean floor out of it and it kept her occupied. Seems that is one of her big issues, when she's bored or has idle time.

    She has had several psychiatric evaluations. Most recently she was screened for bipolar, but they said she doesn't seem to meet the criteria, although some of her behavior is reminiscent of a bipolar's behavior. I believe the official dianogis they have listed for her is: ODD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Conduct Disorder.
  17. loosinghope2008

    loosinghope2008 New Member

    Please excuse the multiple posts. It just dawned on me I could use the multiple quote option.

    First, and I should have done it in my first response post, thank you all for your kind and insightful responses. I really appreciate all the great advice and warm welcomes.

    I am at that point of feeling very hopeless. Even in reading the definition provided by Star, that seems to be where I am. We've been dealing with these issues for so many years, I'm just tired and feel like regardless of how much help I provide my child, she's never gonna get better.

    Since we've been in therapy for so many years, I have learned that I need to take some time for me so I don't get crazy. I have some great friends and make it a point to get out of the house at least once a week. They're always there when I need a friend to talk to or shoulder to cry on. My best friend even has a daughter dealing with similiar issues. I also have my own interests. I'm on the counsel for my towns local government and I am the president of a watershed organization I founded.

    In reading the views on discipline Marguerite provided, I have to say that seems easy in principle but so hard with our chaotic life. My husband works long hours and is dealing with major back issues, so often he is in pain and short on patience. Usually the bulk of the parenting and discipline falls on me. I have four children, one 19 - who's had his share of teenage issues; my daughter who's 15; and the boys I adopted (one who is 8 with cerebral palsy and one who is 6 with developmental delays). I refer to our house as the "House of Chaos". Every day is totally scheduled up and we have little down time. If there were a way to decrease whats on the schedule I'd do it, but unfortunately there isn't.

    We have a big issue this weekend. I must go away for a conference, which my town has already paid for and my hubby is not well equipped to handle my daughter and the boys on his own. I had thought of sending my daughter to my parents house, especially since they don't have internet access, but not sure if its fair to them to have to deal with her, especially at their age. I ask her case manager at her therapy clinic, if they had a respite place to put her, and there are no beds available. I have no clue what I'm going to do.

    When we meet with her psychiatrist on Monday we're going to be discussing long-term placement. I think that's what got me feeling more depressed then anything. My daughter has even said she feels I'm giving up on her. I'm not, I just don't know what else to do. I don't feel I'm equipped to handle her needs and feel as if I'm failing miserably.

    And if you want icing on the cake. I have already planned this big family vacation to Disney World in May. I was so lookin' forward to having some fun family down time. I even shared with my daughter my hope of riding some rides with her one on one and getting to just laugh and have fun with her. Now I'm feeling like that dream isn't going to happen, and even if we do get to go, I fear she'll some how ruin it.

    Anyway, I realize I'm rambling on and on. My daughters therapist felt it was imperative that I reach out for some support from like-minded parents. There is no local support group in my area, so I'm thankful that I found this place.

    Again, thank you all for your encouraging words. If I didn't respond to you directly, please trust that I valued and appreciate all your words and have already read them a couple times over.
  18. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sounds like the cyber-advice and support is alreading coming your way. Glad you found this site. It has served as a wealth or information and support me and I am sure you will find the same.

  19. loosinghope2008

    loosinghope2008 New Member

    UPDATE - my daughter is missing! She didn't return home from school. I called the school and she was at school, but didn't ride the bus home.

    Say some prayers please
  20. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sending out positive thoughts that your daughter is found safe and sound. Please update us when you can. Hugs.