New here...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lms1983, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. lms1983

    lms1983 Guest

    Hi. I'm new here, so if I do anything wrong, please let me know. I am sorry this is so long.

    I'm a 44-year-old divorced work-at-home mom with two daughters ages 14 and 11. The 14-year-old is tough, and having trouble academically, but I am really more worried about my 11-year-old right now. She is having a very hard time - and, in turn, my family is in turmoil.

    My daughter, whom I don't have to explain to all of you I love and support with every cell in my body, is making my life a living hell. She breaks things that don't belong to her. She destroys everything around her. She has spent the entire summer in the house because she would not agree to camp, lessons, even doing things with her friends (who no longer bother to call). She refuses to do any kind of exercise and is about 65 pounds overweight. She calls me names and throws things at me, and then five minutes later is hugging me and telling me how much she loves me. Neither child minds a word I say; I have completely lost control. I have tried carrots and sticks, punishment, sticker charts when they were younger, etc., etc. Nothing works. They refuse to clean up after themselves. To top things off, we live with my parents. My mother has a domineering personality (it's her house - and believe me, she lets me know it), to the point that neither of my children have any relationship with their grandparents.

    It is absolutely miserable. I am so ashamed of my horrible, slobby, undisciplined children, and my horrible, slobby self. What happened? I'm not sure there's anything more "wrong" with my kids than I have done a terrible job of raising them. I have tried very hard in the past to get help. They have a therapist (whom they haven't seen in months because 11-YO won't go), but I have been unable to get neuropsychologist help for my youngest. I call and call - they are either not seeing new patients, or they send me to other departments, where I leave messages and no one calls me back. I told my pediatrician that my youngest is depressed, but she told me they don't make referrals. I do have a lab appointment scheduled, so we can test thyroid, blood sugar, etc., but I don't know how to advocate for us and I get discouraged.

    Things are so bad, I can't leave the house without my youngest, because my mother starts trouble with my daughter and my daughter is terribly fresh and rude to her grandmother. The only time I get to breathe at all is when she is with her father - which is only one day a week (no overnights).

    Writing this, I can see how whiny and stupid I sound, but I am so exhausted. I am ready to face the fact that I am the problem here, but I'm reaching out because I need support to face reality and change things. I just have no idea where to start.

    If anyone has gotten to this line in my post - thank you. If any of you has any advice for me, where to begin, etc., I would be so grateful.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome! First of all and most importantly ((((hugs))), you are no longer alone.

    Is there any chance you can move out of your mom's? You are the Mom but if she is undermining you, you won't be able to make any progress.

    Does DD1 have an IEP at school? What grade is she in?

    How long ago did you get divorced? Is it possible for dad to take the girls more often? What about paternal grandparents?
  3. lms1983

    lms1983 Guest

    Thank you so much for your kind words and hugs. I have been shouldering this by myself for some time!

    Moving out: I feel so entrenched. We came here for financial reasons (we were invited - I didn't ask - yet we have never felt at home, even though this is the house I grew up in). Apartments are expensive here, but that's just an excuse. I'm afraid to move out. I never again want to have a cold apartment, or no gas in the car, or a phone that's "temporarily out of order" - never want to put my kids through that again. I would rather hand over a chunk of money to my mom and know that the bills are being paid. Yet everyone is so miserable.

    DD1 does not have an IEP but she is starting high school in a few weeks, out of town. She was very unhappy in middle school. We live in a very small, clique-y town and she felt outside of things because she is not a "jock" and isn't into cheerleading or performing arts. I think her grades are going to improve, but if they don't, I will ask her guidance counselor for help.

    Ex-husband is not an option. He's not a bad guy, but he's not helpful. He has only taken the girls overnight 2 or 3 times in the 9 years we've been apart. His mother is 86 and his father died before we were married. He sees them and they know he loves them, but he isn't capable of giving them more than that.

    My sister is married to a great guy, who makes lots of money; they have a great house (and a great summer house); and two great kids. I feel like such a loser. I get so bitter, you know? Like, what went wrong? I don't care about myself any more, I just want my girls to be happy.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs and welcome, lms.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Have you seen your doctor for your depression?
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hi, lms. I'm sorry you had to find us, but welcome.

    I know your kids are just But, have you talked to them about your situation? Money was really tight when my big boys were about that age, but they both "got it". My second son rodeoed, and while all of his buddies had leather vests and ate at restaraunts, he knew the score and was perfectly content with his cordura vest and packing a cooler. They made a game of it, and were actually proud of how inexpensive they could make some of the longer trips we had to take. They'd draw straws for who was the "sammich witch", which was the person who had to assemble the sandwiches for everyone as we traveled down the road. We still pack a camp stove into hotels when we go places....

    Maybe the girls would be happier in their own place, even if it meant giving up a little.