new to site -- have questions

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Flores, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. Flores

    Flores New Member

    Hi, all. In desperation I got out of bed and decided to look again for some help. I found this site. My daughter was diagnosed with severe ADHD at age 9. School has been a constant struggle. However, the problem "du jour" is that she turned 18 a few weeks ago (she is a senior in high school). Problems that have plagued us for years seemed to explode. She decided that at 18 she did not have to follow my rules, etc. Last week (just before spring break) she became angry at my taking the car keys away for an infraction---and disappeared---for 4 days! I was sick with worry. Tonight she came back, asked if she could stay and go to church and our family Easter with me tomorrow. I told her "yes, for tonight", but that we would have to do some heavy talking.

    My husband and I divorced, a very sad situation, 2 years ago. My daughter is angry at her dad (angry at the world) and has become involved with sex and alcohol. One minute she is hateful and defiant, the next she is crying that she doesn't know why she does these things. She has been in counseling and is on Adderall for ADHD and Wellbutrin for depression.

    She is adopted---birthmom used drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. I'm trying to learn about conduct disorder, possibly bipolar disorder . . . anything that could help me know the best way to help her.

  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Debbie- Welcome. From your story....pull up a chair and join us. It sounds like you fit right in!

    My son is also adopted, biomom drank during pregnancy, he was almost 3 months premature, etc. He kind of exploded during his last 3 high school years. He is regaining his equilibrium a bit at a time but it's been a long haul.

    Rob (son) had/has serious abandonment issues so his way to deal with those feelings was to "abandon" anyone who could potentially abandon him. Add that to typical teen "let me outta here syndrome" and other mental health issues and you have a recipe for disaster. Your daughter sounds like she is experiencing the same.

    I don't envy you. Those years almost killed me.

    Others will chime in to welcome you. It will help all of us if you create a profile signature and display it every time you post. There are a lot of us so it helps us remember each other's stories.

    Welcome to the family.

  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Debbie, your daughter sounds a lot like mine, except mine didn't go the drugs/alcohol/sex route and that was sheer luck -- I'd drilled it into her since the day I got her that she was genetically disposed towards alcoholism so she needed to be very careful and she really didn't have any friends in high school. If she's drinking, she's probably using other drugs as well. You might want to consider testing her.

    As to the leaving when she can't have her way, that's so much my daughter, so I can totally relate. One thing I did learn over time was not to let my child know how much it hurt and worried me -- this gave her a weapon to use against me and set it up that she left home more often to get her way. After I got smart, it quit working -- the rules were the rules and she had the choice of either following them or not. If not, she knew where the door was.

    Most kids today have issues with being 18 -- they want all the privileges of adulthood but none of the responsibilities. Some kids understand what they want isn't waht they're going to get and accept that. Some, like ours, try hard to get what they want at any cost. Sadly, we have to make the price too high for them. For my daughter, it basically took being homeless and living on the streets for a week for her to understand that it really was my house, my rules. She followed them for a year before she forgot that premise. She's moving out at the end of this month. I think she's closer to being ready -- at least this time there are some real plans rather than just flitting from one friend to another until she's run out of options.

    You have a disadvantage, though -- yours is still in school. This makes it so much harder because you still have a legal and moral obligation. You're right to have your rules. They're necessary for both of you. She'll fight you tooth and nail, if anything like mine. I wished I could give you some easy, magical answers but I can't. Whether she likes it or not, the rules are a necessary part of her life. Getting her to live by them is difficult, at best. The best I can do is let you know I understand your pain and frustration. I hope your talk goes well.

    We'll be here for you through all of this. I wish you the best and hope you all have a peaceful Easter.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome---you've recieved some good advice. I would sit down with her today and come up with some house rules you both can live with. Make sure that the consequences for breaking rules are age appropriate and that once those rules are stated, you don't allow for any bending until she is following them consitantly.
    Is she working? Does she have any personal income? I'm assuming dad pays child support. Sometimes the best way to get a teen to listen is to tie it in with their money----If she wants to live like an adult and not follow the rules---then she has adult responsibilities---rent---car payment (if she has a car)---food---
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I also adopted a child, now 14 1/2, who was exposed to drugs/alcohol in utero. He is on the autism spectrum. Because your child's birthmother was a substance abuser, my layman's guess it that, rather than ADHD, she may have had a mood disorder that Adderrall not only can't help, but can make worse. Our adopted kids, due to limited background, really tend to get shafted in the diagnosis department. Has she ever seen a neuropsychologist?
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You've gotten some great advice. I just wanted to add my warm welcome to the board. :redface: