New to site

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jerlee68, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. jerlee68

    jerlee68 New Member

    Hello everyone! I came across this site when I was googling information about ODD. My 13 year old daughter was diagnosed with ODD in March of last year and has since gotten into some legal trouble by getting into a physical fight with another 13 year old girl. We went to court today and my child was put on two years probation, even though she has never been in any legal trouble before this. Of course I know that because I am her mother I am a little bit prejudice of the situation but I can't help feeling overwhelmed and that the punishment was harsh for a first time offense. I am trying to come to grips with what is happening in our lives and need support. Her father in not really active in our lives and my family believes that I have "spared the rod and spoiled the child" so I don't get too much sympathy from them as well. I'm not sure how this works so if I should be posting somewhere else please let me know. I would appreciate any feedback and any advice. Thank you very much for listening. Jeri
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You did just fine. Glad you found us but am soooooo sorry you had to. I hate to do this but we will need more information before we can really help appropriately. Bear with us but I think you'll be happy with the resulting advice.

    Who diagnosed the ODD? How long since her father has been "gone"? Do you have any other children? Did the fight involve weapons of any kind or anything that COULD be used as a weapon? What were the circumstances around the fight? What kind of behaviors do you see at home? Does she have any problems at school?

    Others will probably ask many more questions but understand that we need a clear picture of what's going on. We really HATE to give bad advice because we didn't have enough information to give good advice.

    You have found a WONDERFUL place for support. NO ONE here judges and EVERYONE can relate. Put all of us together and there is NOTHING that hasn't been dealt with before.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you and pat yourself on the back for seeking help. That makes you a GREAT!!! mom (my family sounds exactly like yours that's why these parents are my family).
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Welcome! sorry you had to do a search like this on the internet but as you can see...many of us have had those same kinds of days. there are many many folks here who can really relate to you and I know they will come along shortly.

    If you feel like it, maybe you can share more information about her earlier development, school etc..??? It helps people relate to your situation and offer more specific support, advice etc. You always can take what fits your situation and life and just know that anything that does not fit is simple given out of care and concern.

    I am a single mom too. sometimes people on the outside really can judge us too harshly. they dont know all the reasons we do what we do so we just have to know in ourselves we are doing our best.

    sorry for your sad day. How did your difficult child react to the news of the probation??
  4. jerlee68

    jerlee68 New Member

    Thank you very much for responding so quickly. I will try my best to answer your questions and clear up any confusion. I have six children all together..twin sons who are 25 years old, a son who is 23 years old, a daughter who is 22 years old, a son who is 20 years old, and my youngest daughter is 13 years old. My other children are all grown and moved out of the home so it is just my daughter and I now. My daughter's father has been addicted to meth since she was a baby. He was in and out of jail from the time I became pregnant and throughout her life. When she was 7 years old he was caught manufacturing meth and sentenced to 3 years in prison. He was released after a year and a half. She has spent all of her childhood idolizing him, even though he doesn't deserve it in the least. He has managed to stay out of jail and prison for the past 4 years but is very inconsistent with working to help support her or in being actively involved in her life. When he does manage to take time out to be around her, he is usually angry or distant or critical of her. I have tried to convince her to stop going around him but when I have refused to let her see him in the past she becomes very angry with me and says that I am keeping her from him. I first started noticing her behavior was becoming a problem in 4th grade when she was repeatedly being sent to the office for talking out of turn, yelling at other students, and being defiant towards her teacher. I found out later that same year that she had tried smoking marijuana and had drank when she stayed with a friend. We did have a little bit of a turn around in 5th grade because her teacher took a "shining" to my daughter and it seemed to have a positive effect on her behavior. When she reached 6th grade (which is junior high level where we live) everything started going downhill. She started becoming angry towards me and her siblings, teachers, principal, etc.. I tried the whole grounding thing..taking away privileges, etc. which did nothing! She would straighten up her behavior long enough to earn the privileges back again and then we would start the cycle all over. The school would call and tell me that she was being defiant towards staff, she would get suspended for threatening other students, etc. We went through this for a year and a half and the whole time I was begging someone to guide me where I could get help, where she could get help, where I could "fix" what was wrong with my child. NO ONE had any answers for me at all during that time. In March of 2011, my daughter stayed all night with a friend. In the morning I received a phone call from the other child's parent informing me that my child was at the emergency room and I needed to get there ASAP. Upon arrival I was told that my daughter, along with the other child, had taken the friend's mother's prescribed anxiety medication, along with medication used to treat depression. My daughter was very angry when I entered the hospital room and would not speak with me. She repeatedly kept telling the emergency room staff that she "wanted to die" and "hated her life". The Center For Children Services were called in to evaluate my daughter due to the suicidal threats. The worker determined that my daughter was at risk and needed to be hospitalized for her protection. She was sent to a children's psychiatric hospital 125 miles from our home. I was not allowed to visit with her for the first 24 hours after her arrival there. She was evaluated by a physician and psychiatrist at the facility and was diagnosed with ODD and AD/HD. She was released back to me after 5 days with my written request. I then entered my daughter into a program in our area that worked with children who were at risk. It was an intensive 90 program where my daughter met with an advocate twice a week for the 90 days. A home study was done in our home to determine if her environment was safe (which it is) and at the end of the 90 days my daughter was released and determined to be stable enough to not need further services. During this entire time my daughter was still having difficulty at school and repeatedly came home complaining of other children "picking" on her and telling me that the staff was doing nothing to intercede on her behalf. One child in particular would continuously make fun of my child about the way she dressed, where she lived, and about the hospitalization. I told my daughter that she could not get in any more trouble at school for any reason and every day we fought over her refusing to go to school and her begging to be home-schooled. I work two jobs to make ends meet and I know that I could not possibly take on the responsibility of home-schooling my child. I spoke with my daughter's advocate that she had in the intensive outpatient program and she suggested that I have an IEP done on my daughter. I had to demand it from the school in writing and then waive my right to have it take up to 10 days. In October, after several weeks of testing, my daughter was determined to have an emotional disorder that interfered with her ability to learn in a public school environment. She was then referred to an alternative school in our area that deals with my daughter's type of disorders. Our local school district has to pay her tuition to attend this school. Also in October, my daughter was at the park at the same time that this child was there. The other girl made a remark to my daughter and my daughter walked over to the child and punched her in the mouth. A week later my child was served with an emergency order of protection. A week after that we were served with papers from the courthouse telling us that charges were being pressed and that my child could be taken away from me. I hired a lawyer (with help from a dear friend to pay the retainer fee) and after several appearances in court, the state is demanding that my daughter be placed on 2 years probation for a charge of battery against the other child. We go back in February for her actual sentencing. I am basically at a loss on where to turn, who to speak with, and have no one that seems to understand my frustration. I have had to deal with others in my community talking behind my back saying that I am not an adequate parent..that she must be learning her behaviors at home..I cry every single day. My daughter is smoking pot, drinking, etc.. She says that pot is the only thing that helps her to stay calm...and she blames me for why her father and I are not together, although she claims she hates him now for all that he has and has not done. She told the lawyer that she will end up going to juvenile detention because she cannot stop smoking pot and if they test her she will fail the drug test. The only positive note that I have is that since we have switched her schools, she is doing wonderfully. She went from D's and F's to straight A's. The teachers at her new school claim that my daughter is very bright and a joy to have in class (which is a complete opposite of what I was being told when she was in public school). Thank you for letting me vent...I really need to get this out in the open and I pray every day for a break or a light at the end of the tunnel. It is to the point now where when my child walks out the door, I start praying for her safe return. I have an overwhelming fear that she will harm herself, either intentionally or by accidental overdose. I have cried during the entire time I typed this so please forgive any typing errors or run-on sentences. Thank you again for hearing me out.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Let me add my welcome. Many of us have posted with tears streaming so don't feel badly. Sometimes the tears actually help ease the pain and frustration. It certainly sounds like you have valiantly tried to find help for your daughter. Watching our kids self destruct is something we never imagined.

    Has your daughter ever been on any medication? Obviously she has difficulty with impulse control which is not uncommong with teens as I'm sure you know from your older children. In her case, however, it seems that she fairly easily becomes explosive when in an unstructured environment. Do you have access to quality medical care? As a former single Mom I can relate to lack of free time...and in my case lack of extra funds.

    Regarding probation I know from experience it is difficult to accept the decisions of "the system". There are cases where having unrelated adults involved has been helpful to teens. I do hope that is the case in your family. Sending caring hugs your way. DDD
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Bless your heart! I know the tears thing, for very different reasons but in the end because it is just so overwhelming at times. I also know the judgement thing. I had a bus driver yell in front of a school that she was calling child protection because i must be a terrible mom to have a child whot talks and behaves like mine does (yeah, she was a bright one... umm she was his Special Education bus driver, she had the papers showing he had a brain injury, seizrues, autism, etc etc etc.... oh my... it is so maddening)

    Do you mind if I ask. so, now that she is on probation, can they order chem. dep. treatment???? sounds like that might be a step but I will let those who have been there done that talk about that stuff with you, because I dont know at what point it is better or not to do that and if you would want to keep that as a private thing or thru the court or what??

    bottom line... VENT away. YES we do get it, that we can still love our kids, but they can be so frustrating and that there is not a lot of support out there in the real world. And your fear for her, that is very real and there is only so much you can do. But at her age, at least you CAN make some decisions if you really are worried about that. HUGs to you, and I will be thinking of you...

    (PS, I spent huge amounts of time crying today too, so you are again not alone.... it is all we can do sometimes)
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board (sorry you had to come here).

    in my opinion, from experience, is that whatever is bothering your child is being made worse by the drug use and drinking. And if she is smoking pot, she could be doing other drugs too. Many kids will cop to pot, but not to the other stuff. My daughter was one of them...she started drugs at twelve, but we didn't think about drugs as a problem because it just never crossed our minds...neither of us had ever used drugs and we didn't drink. No alcohol was even in the house. If your daughter is depressed, despite what she says, the pot and drinking and maybe other stuff is only going to make things worse, and any attempt to medicate her for her problems won't work if she is throwing other substances into the mix. I do not care for behavioral schools myself...they tend to be dumping grounds for troubled kids and they find each other. Is there any way you could get the court or school to pay for a treatment day school instead? That isn't the same thing because they have staff there that knows how to treat children with mental health issues. I think a psychiatrist is even in the mix. My friend sent her daughter to a day treatment school and she literally changed from being impossible to really doing well.

    I am originally from Illinois and I know the laws for physical violence are very tough in some areas. I'm sorry your daughter got such a harsh sentence. My daughter got into a few fights in Wisconsin and nobody was arrested at all. However, she was put on probation twice for getting caught with pot. We really had a very hard time with our child too and I'm sure tongues wagged in our neighborhood too. In retrospect, if I'd known how involved she was in drugs, I would have sent her to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) just to get her off the street and away from her "friends" (ahem). Is that possible?

    I'm just trying to brainstorm here. I hate to hear about other parents going through what we did. I always hope things end faster than they did for us. I really, really feel that half my daughter's problem was her horrible peers. She did not quit using drugs until she turned eighteen and moved out of town where she could finally start over.

    Do you think your daughter would like to change her lifestyle? Does her father do drugs in front of her? Let her drink or smoke pot? I would use this opportunity to get any help possible from the courts.
  8. jerlee68

    jerlee68 New Member

    I so appreciate all of your suggestions! We have not tried medication to treat the ADD or ODD. Since we are relatively new to the diagnosis and treatment, I have been trying to weigh the pros and cons of all treatment options. Of course my daughter believes that taking medicine makes her a "freak" (these thoughts put in her head from both her so called friends and her father). Yes he has done drugs in front of her and she even managed to steal pot from him at one point and he called me screaming at the top of his lungs about her being a "thief". I asked him if he had really stopped to listen to what he was saying to me when he called to complain that his child "stole his drugs". Unbelievable yes I know! The school that I currently have her in is the only other option in our area outside of the public school system or private school that I cannot afford. I requested to have tuition paid to a private tutor in our home but it was refused because Illinois does not approve a private tutor as an adequate school system. She is on KidCare through the state and does have access to good medical care. We have been with our primary care doctor since she was a baby. I recently put her on birth control as a preventative measure as I cannot in any way shape or form raise a baby at this point in my life. Her feelings towards court today and the outcome have been interesting. She cried before court out of fear of what was to come, she cried during court when the judge explained to her what her possible consequences could be, and she cried after court when she had to report to the probation department. I was hoping that it was a wake-up call to her but I now feel like it was more anger based than fear. I suppose I should mention the fact that we live in rent subsidized housing and our apartment is on the bottom of another tenant. We have very strict noise restrictions here and any "commotion" or "disruptions" are not tolerated. My daughter is aware of these rules and when angry at me will repeatedly slam her door, scream at me, and throw things against the wall because she knows that I will cave due to not wanting to be evicted for bothering my neighbors. I cannot financially afford to move anywhere else at this time. I am currently attending college online for my Bachelors degree in Psychology. I graduated in June of last year with my Associates. After graduation I hope to land a secure, well-paying job so we can move but right now it is not feasible.
  9. jerlee68

    jerlee68 New Member

    And I know that she should probably be getting treatment for the drug issues, but the closest treatment facility for juveniles in our area is over a 100 miles away. I am probably selfish in the fact that I do not want her to be that far away from me because I cannot afford to travel to see her. I am currently looking into intensive counseling from a service in our area, but was told that they could not take her if she has substance abuse issues. The psychiatrist that evaluated her stated that he felt that she was self-medicating with the marijuana because it helped her to "relax her thoughts" that run so rampant through her mind from her disorders. I have never really been addicted to any type of drug or alcohol so I am trying to learn about dependency at the same time I am trying to learn about her problems.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, you should take the drug treatment 100 miles away although I know...I know how very hard it is to part with your child. But if I could have seen, in retrospect, what a horrible path drugs would take my daughter, I would have sent her halfway across the world to get her help before it escalated to where it did. That way she would also have limited access to bio. dad and, I'm sorry, if he is doing drugs WHY does the court give him visitation??? He is pretty much telling her that using drugs is ok because HE does it. A tendency to get addicted to drugs/alcohol can be inherited...I have had to bang this idea into the head of my kids who still live at home because both were adopted with bio. parents who had substance abuse issues. I wish I had known more for my oldest daughter, but she was also adopted and we had no history on her bio. family. I'll bet people in her family abused substances.

    Also, the rehab would effectively get your daughter away from her "friends" and off the streets. As long as she is with you, she will see them and copy them. My daughter has told me how hard it was to try to stop doing drugs with her peers taunting her and pressuring her and even abusing her to keep doing drugs and to get them drugs (she also told me that if one uses drugs, they also sell them). My daughter got to the point where she owed money to some drug dealer and he threatened to kill her. Yes, it got very ugly. But we didn't know what was going on at the time. She didn't share her scary world of drugs with us until she quit. Warning: Drugs for ADHD are highly abused by kids who tend to abuse drugs. My daughter and her friends would steal or fake ADHD and crush the medications in pillcrushers and snort them either alone or with other drugs, like cocaine. She told me Adderrall used to go for $10/pill. Then the kids would be so agitated they needed to take downers to sleep. Vicious cycle.

    Huggggggz and good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Welcome to the board. I know all about posting with tears streaming down my face. I've done it a time or two myself. For me, it's just a relief to know that I can tell somone what I am dealing with without being judged or made to feel like I'm a bad or inadequate mother. I've had other mothers say that (one even wrote on Facebook that I was the useless mother of an f'ing bully. Yeah, that was a pretty bad day), but I always try to remember that these mothers have no idea what it's like to actually have to parent a difficult child. If they did, they would be in the same boat that we are in. That doesn't always help, but I try.

    I think that even though the drug treatment is 100 miles away, it might be a good thing for her. She needs to get help for his now. Once the shadow of the pot use (and anything else that she may be using) is gone it might be easier to try to help her anger and aggression issues. Sometimes what is best for them is the thing that we want to do the least.