painful update and personal question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by house of cards, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    A lot has happened since I last posted about us. In late May my difficult child made a suicide attempt. I can’t begin to explain the feelings we have been going through, he is only 9 years old. Since then we have increased his Zyprexa with uneven results Today I have another psychiatrist appointment and I am very hopeful we will get a chance to try a mood stabilizer. I think she is leaning toward Trileptal. We have also been referred to in home counseling and a behavior worker , I guess this is our states wrap around services. I am trying not to get my hopes up because the person who came out seemed so knowledgeable and I keep reminding myself that doesn’t mean that the people that will work with us will be also...but I am hopeful .
    I know I carry a heavy load with my life but it is a choice I made and I think I am good at it most days but I have a personal question. I don’t seem to know how to reach out and accept support from anyone outside of my immediate family, even on this WONDERFUL site I tend to stay in factual information although just reading the posts is soo helpful. Does anyone relate to what I am trying to say? Do you have any tips for learning this skill? Or do you think it is Ok to just pull within yourself when times are hard if that is your personality type?
  2. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    well you say you have social anxiety. perhaps that is part of the problem. here is a safe place, but then again you may not want to share. myself...I get a lot of comfort from getting things out of my mind and out there for others to help me sort thru. I find it healthy to share and get feedback rather than hold things inside/ where they may cause me further damage.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I typed a reply and then it disappeared. I know I feel the same way you do. I don't even involve my immediate family, because it's like that old joke about how priests, nuns and old maids know the most about raising children. As it stands, no one in our family can "get" the issues within our house (I swear, my husband as well!). I've always believed in the old adage, why complain, no one wants to hear it!

    This has to be one of the weirdest forums I've ever seen. I'm still sort of chicken to post questions or vents (here's my $2.00 psychiatric. Degree) but I guess parents of difficult child's are soooo used to being judged, you keep it to yourself.

    I guess the question back to you is: do you feel better now that you opened up a little? If so, you might want to keep it up! I don't think keeping it all in has helped me at all...I just have to geer up and do it, AND have 2 mins. to myself to complete a thought in order to sound slightly intelligent (I've been interrupted 6 times while typing this!!!!!!).

  4. --Eleanor--

    --Eleanor-- New Member

    Hi--I just wanted to pitch in and say I feel the same way about seeking support. After several years of just me and my husband trying to cope, I finally cried to my mom, who immediately packed a bag, hopped on a train, and just finished an intensive two-week bout of tutoring my son (who had such a lousy 1st grade year that he actually knew less academically at the end than when he started). So I'm glad I reached out.

    I haven't laid out my whole life story here yet, but I just wanted to let everyone know that I really appreciate this site because it makes me feel less alone, even if I'm not saying that much.
  5. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    think of this have a couch to move, you could drag it, but to lift it off the ground and carry it you need at least one other person to lighten the load.
    then again, I do share with my siblings but no more about ant. they had enough and cannot bear to hear any trouble.
    now that ant is behaving, he is once more welcome at their gatherings.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Im sorry for what is going on with your son and your family. It hurts.

    As far as sharing here on the board, I hope you will find it comfortable. It took me awhile to feel free enough to share easily. I dont trust easily or readily. Now I feel so at home here I have actually met people in person. I will tell things on this board that I wouldnt tell anyone else!

    One good thing about anonymous message boards is just that...they are anonymous. No one really knows who you are if you dont want them too. You can fix your profile and signature so your own mother wouldnt recognize you. Then you may feel more comfort in telling your story. Really I have had to figure out over the years that as much as we love everyone here in our little corner of cyberspace...we are just names on a screen. We cant jump out and hurt you. We arent going to come through the computer and yell at you if we think you are wrong. Its all just words. Its wonderful when you want to be here but you can walk away. The computer cant chase you.

    (though I swear my computer gives me the evil eye if I dont turn it
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    House of Cards - I SO understand. I am not sure really what it is that causes one to not be open - but I know that I am hesitant to tell anyone anything - even my family.

    I think it has to do with all of the pain that I have gone through, and undoubtedly you have as well. Especially having a difficult child there is a lot of judgment that is projected onto us, a lot of opinions heaped, a lot of criticism - family or not. So when we find a message board like this, I think it is intuitive that we feel hesitant to reach out because we fear that we will be met with the same hand in our face that everyone else has given us.

    I think I have posted 200 messages, and I still hesitate every time I post - and I rarely post a whole message about my woes, but rather I feel more comfortable responding to someone like you who I can relate to. Believe it or not, I am actually working on this in therapy - to be able to reach out, expose myself, and still feel safe. It is really, really, hard.

    Hang in there, and keep reaching out. I think the only way to overcome this is to press on.
    And I am so sorry about your son's suicide attempt. I can't imagine how scared you must have been.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Along the same lines as what Janet is saying, and I have read this on this site several times, "take what you need and leave the rest".

    I have never felt so relieved as I did the day I found this site. I can't talk about my kids to my friends. All their kids are perfect. But all my family here have gifts from God. They understand me. I feel I can tell them anything.

    (Oh, and Janet, my computer gives me the finger if I don't turn it on.)
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    All of us, pull into ourselves, at one point or another in our life. However, I believe we all need an outlet for the level of stress that difficult children can & do bring into our lives.

    First of all you are worthy of support. In fact, it's okay & probably needed.

    Secondly, what one thing can you do for yourself (if just for 10 minutes a day) that is truly yours? (I play piano daily & get out to golf at least twice a month. This is my time - no one is invited to intrude.)

    Only you know your breaking point; only you know who/when the time will be to open up & ask for help.

    Be gentle with yourself
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry things have been so difficult for your son recently. I hope things start to turn around soon.

    I'm a fairly open person about most (not all) things-my difficult child included. For me it helps to get things out and to hopefully be able to help support others.

    Reaching out for support can be very difficult. Know that we are here for you and this is truly a soft place to land. Gentle hugs.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I think we each do what we need to get through this day - tomorrow it could be a totally different story.

    I'm so sorry to hear this about your young son. When I think about my son, age 11, I cannot imagine the fear, pain, and helplessness you must have/are felt/feeling. You are truly blessed that it was a failed attempt.

    Sounds like you are fairly optimistic regarding the wrap services. I hope they work out for your son.

    Kathie, we all are different. There are some on this board who post regularly and we know the intimate ins and outs of their difficult child's lives - while others pop on just from time to time to check in - and still others post only when there's trouble. Additionally, some posters reply to posts on a regular basis to just add support, while still others only contribute if it's something they have experience with.

    It takes everyone to make this board such a welcoming and supportive place. You have to do what feels best for you. For me, it is good to share when necessary for other's to have some understanding of my son. I don't tell everyone but both sides of the family know - some more than others depending upon their intimacy in our lives.

    In regards to friends, I think we need them. I need someone I can cry to and laugh to. I need the support of my church, my family, and my friends.

    You do what is best for you. You could reach out in the form of starting a conversation with someone else you know has a difficult child. You could share this site with someone. Start a friendly concersation with one of the parents in one of the kid's resource room. Only do what feels right.

    You may just be the type of person who internalizes their stress and solves their own problems without outside intervention. You never know though, until you try.

  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm wondering - your emotions are so raw right now, you're holding yourself together with string and sealing wax and HAVE to be holding yourself together so you can have everything organised (meals, the house, doctor's appointments, school, etc) that you've shoved your emotions onto the back burner. Because if you dare to take them out and look at them, you'll fall apart. At least that's what you're shielding yourself from. It's what we do, when we're parents, when we feel everyone relies on us. But the day will come when your mind will step in and arrange things for you. If it gets really bad, it's what used to be called a nervous breakdown. If the trauma you're shielding yourself from was severe enough, that's when you will break out with symptoms of PTSD - when your brain thinks it's time you handled it all.
    But at some point you have to take out your emotions, dust them off and examine them. You need to. Right now you don't feel you can afford the luxury, but when you can and as you can, try to get in touch with yourself.

    I think right now you're scared of opening the floodgates, so you're sticking with the facts, the information and the basics. I'm not critical of you for doing this - it's what I do, too. But I've been through this and know what happens next.

    Are you seeing your own counsellor? Do you feel you could talk to someone? I went through a phase where I felt there was no counsellor who I liked or trusted enough, but I did ring help lines a few times. I hated crying down the phone to someone, even a total stranger, because I hated the sounds of sympathy from the other end, that only made my tears harder to control. But in the long run, they did help me find where my feelings were in all of it. Between the occasional counsellor I DID trust, and a few very close friends who said little but asked the occasional pertinent question, and my own soul probing, I got through it all and now recognise how to maintain my own sanity and teach my family to not need me so much.

    A needy family can be a crippling thing, emotionally.

  13. IMSnoopee

    IMSnoopee New Member

    I'm new here and I'm just learning my way around.

    I empathize with you on your child's suicide attempt. I worry my son will do the same -- he's 8. Having to deal with ODD and the impact it has on our family, our friends, and the judgemental looks from strangers is stressful as a parent, let alone a small kiddo who's self esteem just plummets. I truly hope you'll get the services your family needs.

    As for reaching out -- I find it more difficult to ask family and friends for help than to ask mental health professionals. I am able to open up easier and allow myself to cry, and to accept their help and their encouragement.

    Friends and family (for me) tend to not understand what I'm going through and either blame me as a parent or are entertained by my son's agressive behavior. (you know, the macho male crud?) I even work with people who are trained in children's mental health and it's hard for them to hear my concerns (I'm speaking of the co-workers I'm close friends with -- I don't go around work talking about all my personal stuff). And honestly, I don't want my friends and family judging me any more than they already do OR giving me unsolicited advise about something they don't really understand.

    I've had to learn to accept help from 'strangers' in the MH field. I prefer reaching out to MH providers because they know the resources in our communities and they are trained to help with our situations. They are a reprieve from judgemental stares and the feeling of helplessness.

    I am still learning, too. I'm learning to accept help, and to let people into my home for home wrap-around (eeck!), and to allow my son to take antidepressants. It's so scary sometimes. Just yesterday I had a breakdown and I needed to talk to someone. I called our employee assistance plan to talk to a counselor on the phone. I felt sooo much better and my head clearer when I was finished talking.

    And if you're like me -- I hate my friends to see me cry-- it's so much easier with someone not emotionally involved with you.

    Good luck to you and yours.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    gosh, if it weren't for friends and this bb I don't know where I'd be.
    Insane, if I'm not already!
    Actually, I don't tell my family everything... I mean, bro and sisters... they don't "get it." You have to be very careful to listen to people b4 you choose to tell them. But you already know that.
    Quite frankly, most people figure out that something is going on b4 I tell them, so they're not surprised when I finally do say something.
    But I've come to a point in my life (I finally hit the big 5-0) where I really don't care what most people think. If they say something annoying, I cut them out and find someone else. I just don't have the time for people who drag me down.
    Try to surround yourself with-supportive people. We're a good place for that. As other people have pointed out, the way we "identify" ourselves is so careful that our own mothers wouldn't know us! And we are surrounded by people who "get it."
    I love the catch-phrase for this site: "A soft place to land."
    I hope you can reach out to the experienced mothers and fathers here.
  15. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I so wish I could help carry some of this emotional load for you. One person just isn't strong enough to go it alone where an unstable difficult child is concerned.
    I've been blessed to not have to deal with a suicide attempt. I pray I never do. I will relate a defining time for me in regard to realizing just how desperately I needed support from someone. Anyone, really.
    Duckie had recently gotten sick and we had just embarked on her allergy diet and shots. I was incredibly stressed about everything. I feared a slip up on my part could cause a life threatening allergic reaction in Duckie, it was all too much for me. Then she went missing from her bedroom one night. I couldn't find her anywhere and I was terrified. What if she were sick or hurt? What if she had suffered an anaphylactic reaction and had died? Kathie, I was literally hysterical, tearing through the house, screaming for her at the top of my lungs. I'm crying now just remembering that night.
    We kept a baby gate up to block Duckie from going into the kitchen back then. Her slight motor delay prevented her from opening this gate even at age 4.5 years, so it was a good solution to keep her from getting into the kitchen and into off-limit foods. Well... she hopped the gate and climbed onto the counter, opened the cupboard and grabbed a tube of husband's pringles potato chips. She snuck downstairs into our basement laundry room to eat them. She heard me wake & start to frantically search for her. She was afraid I would be angry so she stayed put for several minutes. They were the longest minutes of my life.
    Duckie finally came out when she heard me crying and sobbing. She was alive and well, even if I was now a wreck.
    Kathie, those horrifying few minutes hammered home to me that I needed to find some balance in my life. I was completely brittle inside and focused so strongly on the illness that I was losing track of the little girl suffering through it. It was a very bad place to be. I needed to learn what I could realistically do for Duckie's well-being and and what was overkill. I had to learn to start taking care of my needs, so I'd be strong and healthy enough to help Duckie. I started developing friendships with other moms and now two with their own difficult children especially are good strong friends. We talk about our parenting struggles, our fears and our hopes for our kids. We prop each other up. It helps.
    I hope you can find the support you need. It will truly make your life more livable.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    OH hon, I am so sorry you are having to cope with all this. I know the horrible painful feelings that come when your child attempts suicide. My oldest tried at 7 to kill himself. And very few psychiatrists/tdocs believed us. It sounds like you have good help starting.

    As for how much you want to open up, this is a place that I have found is very accepting. None of us can come and yell at you, and you can ignore us or ask us for help. We will do what we can and pray for you or rattle beads or whatever is helpful. And most of us understand if you need to pull inside for a while, even a long while. We will still be here when you want to visit us.

    I personally found a lot of help here when I opened up. This board helped me find the courage to do what I needed to. I hope you find help here.


  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'>Kathie,
    My heart goes out to you. The anguish that comes with knowing your son attemped to end his life has to be devastating. I'm glad there are some supports in place. I haven't had this particular situation yet but I know despair that brings you to your knees. I have a tendency to withdraw and insulate myself from the outside world. Being vulnerable is too frightening in a time when I don't have enough courage to deal with it. I can feel myself clamp down and turn inward. Once I am strong enough to deal with life, I loosen up a bit at a time. I seldom share the degree of anguish I feel with anyone until much later.
    Having someone who says "I know you aren't ready to open up but I'm here to just listen without judgment" is a gift that not everyone gets to use. If someone opens that door, go through it. Unleashing that cork that holds all that emotion is a good thing and will speed emotional healing. It will help you process your emotions, terror and sadness.
    Your battered heart will be in my thoughts today and I'm hoping someone reaches out to you and you trust them to hear as well as listen.
    I probably handle things pretty well and think I'm a very clear headed, strong individual but that doesn't mean I don't feel pain, terror and excruciating sadness over the pain our children go through.
    If you want to reach out, do so. If you want someone to reach out to you, let them know. Private e mails or PM's allow you to be somewhat insulated and in control. </span>
  18. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I want to thank you for all the replies. I guess I know in my heart it would be helpful to be more open I am too scared to do it in person but I will try it more here. I do think the social anxiety complicates things but I also think that is why I've made this kind of life for myself (very centered on my kids) I hate the whimpy behavior.
    My difficult child will start lamictal soon and I have my fingers crossed it will help him be able to return to public school, but if not I know we could always go back to homeschooling. I'm glad some of his more unstable times weren't in front of his peers.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Each of us chooses how open we can be based on where we are at a
    particular time. The biggest advantage of sharing with the CD
    Family is that you can vent at anytime...not just at a scheduled
    appointment. Alot of members only read and respond on a rare
    occasion. After many years here, I think the diversity is one of
    the strongest points. DDD
  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Sending you hugs for your hurting mommy heart. I hope you can feel comfortable to allow yourself to be comforted by us. Not many people in my life really 'get it' as they have PCs not difficult children.