New here- daughter is adopted and we just sent her to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for cutting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by violetta, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. violetta

    violetta New Member

    Hi there, i'm new here and so scared and heartbroken for my daughter. We sent her to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) Friday night. She is 13 and will be 14 next month. The past two weeks have been an emotional hell. On Monday of last week, she forgot her lunch so i brought her some fast food. First thing she says to me is "you're late". That morning she had acted hateful to her dad. I asked her to follow me to my sister's classroom. (my sister works at the middle school she attends, which is awesome) i told her she could eat lunch in there and her aunt would give her an excuse. (this rarely ever happens she is not spoiled at school). Well my sister asked me what was wrong with my daughter and i said, i don't know but she acted hateful to her dad this morning. After i made that comment, she wouldn't stop crying. i kissed her head said i loved her and left. i figured once she ate her lunch she would feel better. She came home later that afternoon crying and wouldn't speak to me for 2 days. On Wednesday i discovered she sent a naked picture of herself to a boy. so i grounded her for that, took her computer and phone. So on Friday, things were ok. She had a good day at school. LAter that afternoon she got bored, and asked for her computer back. I said no, but then i told her she could play minecraft as long as she stayed in the living room and didn't get online. She was fine til we went to bed. I got up to use the restroom and found her online chatting to her boyfriend. I was so mad. I got on her computer and looked at what she was doing, she had sent pics of her arm, which she had carved the word HATE across her forearm, and a pentagram, and a bunch of slashes. I was mortified.
    I immediately went into her room and looked at her arm. I started crying and asked why she would do that to herself. She cried and she said she hates me, always has since she was little, and is only nice to me because she knows that if i knew she hated me i wouldn't do things for her. It broke my heart into pieces. I told her our relationship will never be the same again, i know that was wrong, but i was just so hurt and still feel betrayed. So, she has been in the treatment center and today is our first family meeting. i am anxious and scared.

    Background-we adopted her as an infant, and her birthmom picked us to be her parents. It was a private adoption. BM wanted no contact. We have always told her she was adopted since birth, always positive, always open and honest with her. I've shared as much as i know with her. As a child she didn't really seem to care, but lately it has become a big issue. She says if my bm didn't want me, why would anyone, etc. My mother is also adopted (she was actually in the TN home for Children with Georgia Tann.) My mom and my daughter have a special bond. I am happy that my daughter has my mom to talk about her feelings. The thing is, my mom was just diagnosed with liver failure, and is now on a transplant list. This happened only a month ago. I don't know if this is one reason why my daughter is feeling this way and acting out. My mom is very sick and taking a lot of drugs to detox her body. She has hepatic encephalitis. Somehow my mom contracted hepatitis. I cannot tell my mother about my daughter because she is too sick and it would break her heart. This is so hard.

    My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at 6 yo. and after several medications, she takes adderall 15 mg a day. The dr at the hospital is going to start her on either paxil or celexa for her depression. She has always been strong willed, and i've learned to pick my battles. as a child she had a speech problem and received therapy for it and she also has dyspraxia, (handwriting ) and received Occupational Therapist (OT) for that as well. she still has a hard time with it. but she is super smart and receives good grades in school, is currently in a play at school. i just hope i did the right thing by taking her to treatment. i don't want it to make her worse. thank you for any advice, i'm just so heartbroken.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome, I am sorry you had to find this group, but you have come to the right place. Someone with similar experience will come along shortly to offer more advice than I can, but I wanted to tell you that you do have a support line here.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Adoption issues are tricky, add it to the teen years and it can be a real mess. Have you felt before this that she is bonded to you?

    I think you did the right thing bringing her in. When it comes to attachment (I'm no expert, just throwing an impression out) it takes specialized therapists who really understand those dynamics. I would read about it. She doesn't sound like someone with full blown reactive attachment disorder, but you've only shared a little. It is a disorder that is on a spectrum and some kids have miller issues, some are unable to bond anyone.

    Does she show empathy and sympathy? Is she kind to animals? Does she generally tell the truth (or at least until she became a teen?).....Did her birth mom use alcohol or drugs? Did birth mom have any mental health issues, birth dad? Their families?

    Any other behavioral concerns?

    Welcome, I understand how awful it feels to have.made that decision to put them in the hospital, so heartbreaking....
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  4. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Hugs... I wish I had more to offer but I don't have the wisdom to give advice. Many of us here are dealing with a variety kids with a variety of behaviors and attitudes. Young teen girls are difficult - whether they are typical teens or problem ones. I hope the professional staff at the treatment center will give you guidelines. I think you will have to apologize soon for your comment and tell her you were overwhelmed and scared and that you both need to work on things. Do you have a therapist you can make an appointment with? Sending prayers your way. KSM
  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    Sending u HUGS
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. Another adoptive parent here. We do end up on these boards a lot, don't we? :) Welcome,a lthough sorry you had to be here. I did adopt one child from a mother who picked us, bless her heart. It helped that we knew Daughter's history on both sides of her family. So I have a few questions for you, and, by the way, I hope your mother is ok and finds a donor.

    Although you were chosen by the birthmother, which in my opinion is the best way to adopt a child, do you know if her birthmother took care of herself during her pregnancy? Did she go for checkups? Did she abstain from drinking and using drugs? Do you know if there is any mental illness on either side of her family tree (DNA tree...she lives with her DNA, like my kids live with theirs). Was the pregnancy normal and did you get to bring her home from the hospital? I think it is so much better if you can just take the child home rather than making the poor baby wait in foster care for weeks or months, which is how some states do it.

    This is a hard question to ask you, but my oldest adopted daughter, who we received at five months old from Korea, was always a very sensitive child. She didn't talk much about adoption, although we encouraged her to, but I know it was on her mind a lot. To make matters worse, Dad and I divorced. That didn't help. She started smoking pot at age 12. Are you sure you daughter is not involved in any drugs? Drugs start early these days. My daughter also cut herself. A lot. I didn't know how much until after she stopped, but I knew she did it and it broke my heart like yours was broken. She did go into a hospital when she took a knife and put it to her throat.

    I think you did the right thing. Now cutting doesn't just stop. It becomes like a habit and hopefully you will continue to take her for therapy. It would really help if you found a therapist who understands the special sensitivities and rejection issues facing adopted kids. No matter how much we love them, they feel like First Mom rejected them. That muddles their sense of self worth and they struggle with "who am I?" issues too.

    My younger adopted daughter, Jumper, who is about the most well-balanced teenager I have ever met, in spite of being adopted, did go through a rough spot where I had to contact her BM so that she could see for herself that her BM loved her. My daughter Jumper told me, during her dark time, "Being adopted should be considered like a special need." I never forgot that. I never discounted it. It's different and requires us to be aware that the child is very aware of her adopted status a great deal of the time.

    I hope the hospital stay helps your daughter and that you can get her the help she needs. Your daughter sounds a lot like Julie, my daughter from Korea, in her personality and she had some hard times in high school but really turned into a great young adult. Your daughter can and probably will too. And she doesn't hate you and, you know very well, you shouldn't have said that back to her about your relationship changing forever, but "I'm so sorry" works wonders. I say it often. Also...JMO...I wouldn't talk about her "hateful" behavior in front of her anymore. I think it does more harm than any good...this is JUST my opinion.

    Your daughter's early development kind of worries me. Can you please answer the question about her birthmother's behavior during her pregnancy? Thanks.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I think that you did the right thingin seeking treatment for her. She's cutting and you have a to get to the bottom to find out why. She says that she's always hated you. Do your think that was something that she just said because she knew it would hurt you the most, or do you think she really never attached to you? How was she as a child? I know when my son melts he will say the most hateful things to me and to easy child because he is trying to go for the proverbial jugular. He want say the meanest, most hurtful thing he can think of. She said this to you after you found out that she was cutting. Maybe she was angry that you were checking up on her and found out what she has been doing and trying to be hurtful.

    No matter the reason for her saying it, I know how bad it makes you feel and I agree with you when you say that it changes your relationship with her.

    I'm sorry that you had to find us here. I hope things get better for your family.
  8. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    Repeat after me... I am not the cause I am doing this to help her, keep saying that. second do something for yourself now. you know she is in a safe place so you get to relax some. I know it seems to be overwelming. been there done that with difficult child 1 he was supposed to be in for 6months ended up there for 4 yrs. will they start family counsling? again just remember you are doing this to help her not hurt her it's not a punishment