Oh, the fun of family vacation with a difficult child...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by greenrene, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Before anyone asks why on earth we would go on vacation like this, knowing that difficult child will ramp things up... Family vacations are very important to my inlaws. They love taking us places, they pay for just about everything, and I'm not about to let myself, my husband, or my sons miss out on times like this just because difficult child acts like a bratty punk from hell. I won't let her "win" that way - I want her to see us having fun despite her attitude.


    We're on vacation right now with my inlaws - it's my mother in law and father in law, sister in law and brother in law with their 4 kids, and my family. We're all in a house together). difficult child has turned her hatred and scorn of me up several notches, seemingly taking every opportunity possible to be defiant and rude, to assert that she doesn't have to listen to me, and to tell anyone who will listen (even though everyone is tired of it) about how horrible her life is, how stupid her family is, how mean and strict I am, how she wishes that stepparents were illegal (that one was on the plane, waiting to disembark, with a slew of others around - nice, huh?), how dumb it is that we expect her to make decent grades (which for her is a C or above in every class) because school is stupid and boring, how she wishes she lived with ANYONE else but me, how she would totally follow the rules at someone else's house but thinks ours are stupid, etc etc blah blah blah.

    Basically she's being a total b-word. And although the rest of us all get along beautifully and have fun together, difficult child's attitude casts a negative pallor over everything. She is talking nonstop about how everything in her life sucks, and it's all MY fault. I can't say anything because anything I would say would escalate the situation. She rejects everything I say or suggest, JUST BECAUSE it was I who suggested it. Like last night on the way home from dinner, I offered to make a BBQ dinner for everyone one evening. difficult child yells from the backseat "No BBQ! Or, can Uncle P make it?" Knowing full well that I'm a damn good cook - she was just saying that to be rude. She spent most of last night's dinner going on and on about her horrible life and her evil stepmom (she did get reprimanded to stop a few times, nobody really believes her at all, and I was at the opposite end of the table).

    So I've just taken to staying as far away from her as possible. But I'm not about to hide out in my room. If I'm in the kitchen hanging out with people, and she comes in being a punk, then SHE is the one who has to leave.

    It's just exhausting, and more than once I've literally felt my blood pressure rise when I hear her talk - sometimes it's everything I can do to not just GO OFF on her and/or smack her across the face (which I would never, ever do - it would give her too much ammo). People are usually pretty good about not engaging her, and I know that nobody believes her. But still. Her attitude sours everything, and the bad thing is she thinks that she can actually convince people that she's right.

    Yuck. I have the house all to myself right now, and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yikes. What happens if you go for a walk to escape her voice...does she follow you? Hmm...have you tried ear buds or whatever they are called?? I'm glad you are sharing time with the extended family and particularly glad that they seem to be able to "get" your difficult child. Hugs DDD
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    So is sister in law starting to get the picture?

    Yes, it's a shame that difficult child is determined to be nasty during vacation - but it would be nice if others got to see what you have to live with every day...
  4. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Well, the going for a walk thing is not exactly feasible - there's a foot of snow on the ground, and it's still falling! This is more snow than I've ever seen in my life! But no, she doesn't follow me around. She usually doesn't want to be anywhere near me... trust me, the feeling is mutual. She HATES when I'm hanging out in the kitchen with my mother in law - she wants grandma all to herself, but tough noogies.

    It's sad, really - she has such a low view of herself and is SO jealous of her brothers and cousins that she tries to put them down to make herself look more important. Last night she was going on about how much she looks like her grandma (my mother in law), so much more than the others do... It's pitiful. I do feel sorry for her, but as the scapegoat for her anger and the target of her wrath, I don't have as much pity as I probably would otherwise.
  5. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    DF, yes, sister in law is definitely getting more of a clue. The last time we hashed it out, I understood more of her view and realized that she really does "get it" more than I might have thought, she was just phrasing things in a way that triggered MY insecurities. In fact, sister in law is now of the opinion that we really need to get difficult child out of our home, like into a therapeutic boarding school setting, because the dynamic between difficult child and me is so unhealthy. She is also the one who went to bat with my mother in law for difficult child to get more tutoring, which she desperately needed. She is definitely on "my" side, although she loves difficult child dearly as an aunt and wants so much for her to be able to be successful in life. Since she's not in the everyday craziness of things, she is in a position to have more compassion/pity than I am.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    This is good! And you are right - no are in no position to have a lot of compassion and/or pity because you are having to play defense at the moment. I'm glad to hear to have a growing number of allies...
  7. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Yes, I'm definitely having to play defense ALL the time. People tell me to just ignore difficult child, to not let her get to me, but it's HARD! I am, by nature, a very, very sensitive person. I have a lot of empathy, I am very nurturing, very intuitive. In many ways, I feel like it is a gift, and I'll be damned if I let difficult child take away part of who I am. But on the other hand, I do know that it is necessary to have a tough skin, otherwise I'd be miserable all the time. difficult child is also the kind who WANTS to get a reaction, and I know that if I let her see that she's hurt me or made me mad, then she "wins."

    Last night at dinner she announced that she was moving out when she turned 18. When mother in law asked her where she was planning to move, difficult child said "your house!" The look on mother in law's face was priceless, LOL!
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Stupid question and I might have even asked it before, but... any chance she's on the spectrum?
    The more I read about your difficult child, the more she sound like those social skills are part of the problem - and at 15, there's SO much history that there's probably 10 layers of "other stuff" on top...
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Ugh!! I know exactly what that is like! I was hoping that she would at least try to hold her tounge while you were away and try to enjoy herself. I'm sorry that she is being so rude and disrespectful, but at least now everyone sees her behaviors for what they truly are and you have a growing number of people on your side. How long will you be away?
  10. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Insane - she went through the entire battery of testing at a specialized Autism Center at a local university. She definitely has severe ADHD, but they said she isn't on the spectrum.

    It's still pretty much the same - she's pretty much getting on everyone's nerves, but thankfully other adults have been stepping in to help because they are really starting to see what we deal with. My mother in law wants to have a conference with husband and I to decide how we're going to handle it when she starts her ranting about me in public. It's to the point that I can barely say ANYTHING to difficult child without her just rolling her eyes, "whatever"-ing, and/or ranting about how she hates our stupid family.

    We're going home on New Year's Day.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    You're not going home until New Year's Day? That's a long time! At least you have other adults who have been stepping in to try to help out when she starts her nonsense.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It has taken us 4 rounds of testing... and we're heading into round 5... in order to get a complete list of dxes. It is amazing what some "specialists" miss - or mis-label (i.e. close but not quite).