New here, needing support

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MamaDe, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. MamaDe

    MamaDe New Member

    I have had increasing problems with my difficult child 1 since she first came to live with us. She has had a psychiatric, therapist, and multiple hospitalizations for behaviors for years. At one point due to behaviors at home that were so bad, she even was placed in foster treatment care facility. I so do wish I could say that any of this has helped us. We have been in family therapy along with her, but it does not seem to help. I am getting so worn out mentally, emotionally, and physically, I can barely function most days.

    difficult child 1 is a child who does not seem to show any kind of remorse for her actions, seems very self-absorbed, and continues behaviors no matter what the consequence would be. I have had so much jewelry, money, sentimental items (pics of deceased daughter), taken from me and destroyed/lost/given away, that I have most everything locked up. I have made police reports due to stolen property but nothing can be done for they do not prosecute because she took from family. Police have even lectured her and all she could do was say "whatever". difficult child 1 is very wise to this, and has learned over the couse of years to say and act to get what she needs from people. I have even has CPS investigate alegations placed by her 3 times. All have been unfounded and dismissed as her seeking attention/revenge. difficult child 1 threatens students/difficult child 2/me and has(past) hidden a knife under her mattress. I have tried reasoning, rewards for good behavior, removal of privileges, point system, confined to room, and yet it seems to have no effect. difficult child 1 does what she wants, when she wants, and takes what she wants. No apology, only anger when caught, then retaliation. difficult child 1 general affect is flat. The only emotion we see that is not forced is anger. difficult child 1 is on medications, Seroquel/Wellbutrin XL. Her latest activity is obsession with a boy(man) at school who is 18. difficult child 1 skips classes, has been suspended, night school, peer intervention, all to no avail. difficult child 1 states she has done nothing wrong and we (collectively) are making up stories to get back at her. difficult child 1 has expressed that she wants to have a baby and move on her own by next year. I am pursuing placement again because it seems the only time she can comply with rules is if she has no other choice, ie: constant one-one monitoring 24/7. Which is why first placement deemed her "cured" 2 years ago and sent her home. And the lying is constant. Really, I think difficult child 1 has told so many stories that it is impossible for difficult child 1 to know the truth anymore. And not just about things that would "normally" get difficult child 1 in trouble, but about silly mundane things. Color of hair, socks, things eaten.

    I love difficult child!, but so often anymore, I feel constantly on edge. During the day when phone rings, I cringe when I see school number show up. Nights are worse, for if I fall asleep, difficult child 1 has been known to take things or retaliate against us for things we "did" to her.I hate this feeling of conflict inside me. The other children and I have been hurt so many times by her actions towards us, that it is hard sometimes to feel relaxed with her. How horrible does that make me? Not wanting to be around my own daughter? UGH! I am to the point where I resent all the weekly appts. that must be kept for this. I don't see an improvement and my home life is hell. difficult child 2 even reacts differently when she is not at home.

    Is there any hope?:sad-very:
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    first and foremost, welcome to the site!

    I see that difficult child 1 has a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Personally, I think that is one of the most difficult disorders to deal/live with. I have zero experience with her issues, but must say I feel you are on the right track pursuing out of home placement for her.

    Others will be along soon. We have several families who are dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and I'm sure they will give you some suggestions and support.

    I'm sorry to read that you lost one of your children.

    Again, MamaDe, welcome to the site.

  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome MamaDe,
    So glad you have found our little corner of the world although sorry you needed to. It sounds like you have really been through a lot. You are not a horrible mother for not feeling relaxed around your own child. Believe me, I so understand that feeling. With my difficult child I feel we are always waiting for the next explosion. I too have started to resent all the appointments.

    One thing I would suggest is be sure you are taking care of you. I know that is so much easier said than done but it is so important. Are you able to find some "me" time? For me exercise helps greatly because it is such a great stress reliever. Other great stress relievers are reading, taking a bubble bath, chocolate:) Really anything you can do to find some time for you.

    Again welcome-you will find much support here.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I adopted six kids. Two don't live with me anymore, so I rarely mention them. One of those boys was a victim of the other one so, when he moved to foster care and liked it there, we let him stay and now they adopted him. The other one was a sociopath. I know you're not supposed to say that about a child, but there is no other way to describe him. His official diagnosis was "Severe Reactive Attachment Disorder" but that was only after he had harmed my two youngest kids and killed a few dogs (yes, it can always be worse).

    We adopt kids thinking that we can love away their pain. That was our motivation for adopting an older male child of color. We figured he was least likely to get a loving home (sometimes males of color are never adopted). Since we already had asian and black kids, we thought this child would be perfect for our family. His profile said he was a great kid. So we adopted him and loved him. He acted like an angel around us and we had no idea what he was doing behind the scenes. We were horrified when we learned.

    We also adopted a six year old from Hong Kong who never gave us a problem in his entire life. He was and still is brilliant and a rule follower. He just was very detached from us. Now he's grown and we haven't seen him for four years. Nobody is sure why.

    The moral of the story, we learned, is that adopting older children is a crapshoot and it is often too late to love away their pain. Some don't want love. Some are damaged by alcohol and drugs before they are born and can't feel what other kids do. Some are mean because of their pasts. Some can not be helped. The children we adopted as infants (and one who came at two) all adjusted to our family just fine and are loving individuals. The ones we adopted as older children didn't work out well. None of them.

    If you want to help your child, you can take him/her to a neuropsychologist to try to assess what is psychiatric and what is neurological and what the prognosis is.

    I can feel your pain and I'm sorry. I hope things improve for you. Remember, as I try to, that the child isn't at fault for the way he/she is. Still, some things are impossible to live with and the child sometimes can not live at home. Our eleven year is now nineteen and we haven't seen him since he was thirteen and we found out he was messing with the younger kids.

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Having twins with severe Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) I'm not surprised your difficult child is more compliant, charming, etc in other settings. It's the fear of emotional attachment that makes them "impossible" to live with many days.

    Another placement may be in the best interest of your little family. You have other children you must tend to plus finding time for yourself.

    I wish I could offer you more ~ the long term prognosis for Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is either "unknown" or horrendous. You do the best you can while you can for your child.

    I'm sure you've read all the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) books you can find; I hope you're hooked up with a qualified attachment/adoption specialist. Pick your battles wisely.

    AND most of all find some type of respite whenever you can.
  6. MamaDe

    MamaDe New Member

    Thank you so much for the replies and support. I have been feeling so isolated and frustrated when I did try and "talk" to some of my friends and family. I either was not believed, was told this is normal teenage acting out, or just told to give "tough love" to straighten out their act. When I read the replies and sigs, it touched me and took me awhile to respond because I fell that here, you all do understand. Even my frustration, and exasperation. I hope to be on more often and join in the support sytem here.