New here, seeking a "candle in the darkness"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lightseeker, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. lightseeker

    lightseeker New Member

    Hi everyone. I just found a link to this forum through another site. The other site was really just a general discussion forum, with one sub-forum about parenting. After posting there several times, I realized it was absolutely hopeless - NO ONE coul relate to the severity of the difficulties I'm having with my 16 and 19 year olds.

    I was getting many of the nice, pat, textbook answers for handling my out-of-my-control children such as "JUST LAY DOWN THE RULES OF THE HOUSE!", "JUST TAKE AWAY ALL THE PRIVILEGES", "You're the boss, just tell them IT'S YOUR WAY OF THE HIGHWAY" blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill. All those things work only for normal, compliant, generally agreeable teens, in NORMAL situations. I'm not a moron:mad:, I do have a brain and if simplistic solutions like that worked in my situation, I wouldn't be desperately asking for advice! Normal reasoning does not work with children like this.

    People who have never been where many of us are make you feel like you're crazy because, if you consider yourself a normally intelligent, caring, strong, and capable person, you've already DONE all of those very obvious things, without success. It's all failed! Now you're at your witts end and feel helpless and scared for yourself and your child(ren).

    I just registered and will start posting soon. I am a single mother who is very alone in this fight, and I'm exhausted. I feel ashamed of how my children behave, and how they treat me. There are times I've felt like running away where no one can find me. But it helps to know I'm not alone, and that I'm not being "punished" for something I've done to my kids. I will start posting soon with more details of my own situation, and hope to get some feedback from your own, very relatable, experiences. Right now, I have to go to work to support us. Glad to find you!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board lightseeker. :)

    People who have not lived life with difficult children rarely actually "get it". Which makes it even harder on parents who are attempting to cope.

    I think most of us have contemplated running away where no one can find us at one time or another (or several lol)........I know that I've had those thoughts more than once myself.

    Once I used to have the illusion that somehow it would all be magically better once my difficult children turned 18. Wow. What a naive idiot I was. Obviously didn't think that "dream" through. lol

    Actually it can be sooooo much harder once they reach the late teen years and get past the 18 mark. And on top of it getting worse, your limit control of the situation gets blown out of the water the day they turn 18 and supposedly become an adult. ugh

    Looking forward to getting to know you. This is a great family, you'll love it here.

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Lightseeker, and welcome!

    There are so many of us that I want to suggest that you create a signature for yourself. Here is a link to the directions on how to do it:

    Take a look around to see what kind of information we put in there. It helps us keep each other straight and also makes your life easier because you don't have to recap your story every time you post.

    I did have to chuckle at this:
    Don't be surprised if you hear a lot of that in this forum, too. By the time our kids hit 18, we've been through so much that it pretty much is our way or the highway. :)

  4. judi

    judi Active Member

    Hi and welcome.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome!
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome. This is the best place in the world for weary parents like us. Like you, many of us have heard all the advice in the world---and unfortunately there are no easy answers when dealing with kids like ours. You have found a great site with people who are full of knowledge and who truly understand your plight.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Putting in my welcome.

    Parents of regular kids have no idea, no clue. If you show them whose boss, they show YOU whose REALLY boss.

    Look forward to your posting.
  8. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    Hey, Lightseeker. I'm a single mom too, and it is a lonely feeling, having given your "all" to parent in a responsible way, willing to do anything to help your child, but so exhausted when nothing seems to be working, and then to have others who have never " been there" assume that if your situation is that out of control it must somehow be your fault.

    I too have felt ashamed regarding difficult child's behavior, although I know it makes no logical sense. I am not the one behaving so horribly (most of the time at least....:angel:
    When my difficult child was hospitalized for an unrelated medical issue, I even had a head nurse on the floor going on and on about how horribly difficult child was treating the whole staff, how she had a "mouth" on her like none she'd ever heard, and when I said (mistake), "I'm so sorry. I didn't teach her that way. I'm embarrassed by all this," the response was a huffy, "Well you SHOULD be embarrassed." When I related this to the psychiatrist and staff, they were very supportive and validating, not believing I was spoken to in this way, but again it goes to show how those who have never seen it, never lived it, "don't get it." I even had a counselor suggest to me once that the problems were maybe due to a "lack of nurture" on my part. That was the last visit I made to that counselor--intelligent but young and mom with a child less than a year old. Yeah, she has no idea what COULD be ahead of her when that sweet little bundle gets older.

    As for your "fault" in the matter, I've resolved it this way: I know I have and continue to make mistakes like all parents do, but I also know in my heart that I have done my best with the hand I was dealt. Not all parents can make that statement honestly. Many parents who are truly neglectful and irresponsible never deal with 1/2 the problems I have regarding my child. The behaviors are so far "over the top" that even with tons of mistakes, I couldn't have POSSIBLY done THIS much damage. In that way, it's almost a release that the misbehavior isn't lower level. I'd be much more confused in that case about whether I might have caused it in some way.

    It's tiring to have to go to work in the midst of it all, knowing that if you don't the whole household would collapse with no financial support. I remember one surreal morning of talking difficult child out of a knife before calmly walking out the door to go to work (yes, thanks to my own medication, prescribed to help me cope). If I'd taken the day off every time she got out of control I wouldn't have a job. I look forward to hearing more of your story. You really aren't the only one dealing with this kind of stress, but it sure can feel that way when you're surrounded by Mayberry parents.
  9. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome - I have a 19 yr old who is not very nice to me. She is an awesome person outside of the home but to me she shows her very ugly mouth, attitude ect. I am still struggling to figure out an answer.

    I wanted to share one thing with you that has worked and I do pull it out when things get very ugly with her. Keep in mind that this is not an answer to all our problems but does put a kind of "time out" into the mix.

    When my Diva gets into her very demanding attitude, I say to her, "Do not ask anything of me until you can be nice to me for one week." Then everytime she is nasty within that week, I just repeat that phase and walk away (or hang up the phone) and it starts the week over again.

    The first time I did this we were in a "time out" for almost a month.

    We have gotten to the point that she wants nothing to do with me unless she is looking for something for me to pay for. That made it easier for me to make and stick to this "time out" process.

    You did not say anything about possible manipulation tactics going on, however, in the case you are feeling manipulated at times, look up a book called "The Manipulative Child" (you can find it in a library). It is geared more toward younger kids than yours but does have information that I think you can draw from. I did use one of the techniques when Diva was 17 or 18. The book did shed some light on some behaviors.

    Do not be concerned over the title of the book. It never refers to a child who manipulates as being bad. That child has simply found a way to survive and get what he or she wants. The book offers some advise to counter that vicious circle of manipulation.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    We just went through a similar experience with- a well intentioned therapist who has helped our difficult child, but did not have a good handle on the background or the entire situation.

    What we have done is kind of an individualized/creative program....using tough love when appropriate. We try to determine what she is capable of doing and expect her to do her part.

    Sometimes there really are no great answers to these problems.

    I do know that it is basically impossible, to control another person. We can offer to help, and we can offer assistance. We can set up boundaries!!

    But we can not guarantee that another person will take our help or benefit by our help. We can only control ourselves and this includes our thoughts about it all.

    I am so sorry that you are alone in all of this. Is there anyone at all that can offer real support for you?
    Lasted edited by : Nov 9, 2009
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    (introduce Superman music) - nae......(STARWARS THEME) roll the screen...

    It will be our mission to transform you from Lightseeker to dat dah dhaaa dahhhha to LIGHTSABER'll be right up there with Yoda and Obie1. (insert Jedi lightsaber noises vrrrr wwwwwrrrrrrt....vrrrrrttttt)

    Ahhh yes if only. (if that were true? I'd have light beams shooting out of my) :surprise:OHHHHHH Kkkkkkk.....eyes. In any event - I'd be a lot more intuitive than I am now and probably know all the 'dark' side secrets and avert danger more rapidly -;)

    Whatever planet you feel you landed here from? :alien: We welcome you with open, caring, understanding and as with some of us? Humor is first with some of us you see because without it we would have cracked up a long time ago. :laugh:

    Welcome to a soft place to land. (Spaceship or not) :tongue:

    Hugs -
    Star (that's, just plain star - not star system or dog star or Rigel, or galaxy - although some days I feel a little twinkle)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009