Ready to give up

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lostlaura99, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    I am a single parent to two children. I am also chronically ill and have no family around. I work full time (no choice) and I’m in constant pain and constant fatigue.

    My daughter (11) has oppositional defiant disorder and severe anxiety. The issues began well before the divorce (she was 7 when we split - issues started years before).

    When she is with me she explodes over anything. She will scream for hours and hours. Talking doesn’t work. Ignoring doesn’t work. She will chase me and bang on doors.

    She is in therapy but refuses to talk. Every time she fights, she calls her father. He sometimes tells her to just stay away from me if she can’t stop yelling. She lies and says I’m the one following her. He has caught her in this lie a few times. But as soon as she stops screaming at him on the phone, she comes back screaming at me again.

    I lost my partner partially because he couldn’t handle being around her. I can’t make plans with friends because she isn’t willing to be around people and will explode. I worry so much for my son (9). I worry for me - I feel this stress is killing me. There seems to be no hope. The explosions happen 3-4 times a day and last a long time (usually only ending when she’s exhausted or I call mobile crisis to come help).

    She does these things with her father, but to a much lesser degree. She used to explode at school, but seemed to stop perhaps due to peer pressure. She is withdrawn and makes no friends.

    I’m scared for all of us.

    I can’t survive this.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  2. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    forgot to click notifications - so i added
  3. dgrace

    dgrace New Member

    I’m so sorry for your troubles with your daughter. You’ve come to a good place to talk. Others will be along to help. Has your daughter been to any therapy or counseling? Any medications? You can survive this. One step at a time. You are not alone.
  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    You can survive this but you may need some help. Maybe you should seek your own councelor to give YOU some support. Many of us have gone through the tantrums and shouting matches. It is not pleasant. Is it possible for your ex to take her more often to give you and your son a break? Has your medical problem been diagnosed and is there some therapy or medication that could help? Maybe ask her therapist if there are any residential programs that would be available. Others will be along soon I am sure. Prayers are with you.
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  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hi, Laura. My darling daughter was also a screamer, to the point where, one summer, a neighbor called the cops on us for domestic violence. She also called her father to "save" her from living with horrible, awful me and my new husband. Her father was less than interested in dealing with her - she rarely saw him, and he lives about an hour away. She punched holes in her walls, tore her bedroom door off the hinges and threw it at me, lied like a rug, and generally made life very unpleasant for all of us for way too long.

    Is she on any medications? Miss KT also had ADHD, heavy on the H, and we tried several different things to help her calm down and be more successful at school. She had trouble making friends, even though she did a lot of extracurricular activities, and spent her entire sixth grade year being constantly bullied by another girl. Middle school was a nightmare. The raging hormones, the acne, the clothes not fitting right, the refusal to bathe or brush teeth consistently, the refusal to eat lunch because I wouldn't give her lunch money more than once a week (the rest of us took our lunches to school/work), the calls from school...

    Sophomore year she told my mom that I'd thrown her out (not true) and moved in there for about nine months. I basically white-knuckled it till she graduated, and supported wholeheartedly her decision to go away to college. She's 27, a college graduate, married, and doing very well...and living 800 miles away.

    Is she destructive or just a screamer? Can you go take a really long shower when she starts up, or will she go after her brother? Are there any local resources, like a NAMI chapter? As for her therapy, I'd be on the fence about it if she refuses to talk. Maybe a social skills group to help her interact with her peers? You've probably tried everything you can think of; I did, too.

    Sorry this is so long, but I can totally relate. That screaming just wears you down. Many hugs.
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have no ideas.

    I just want to say that it is very hard. We are all in the same place at some point or another. Where we just do not know what to do or where to turn. And there is nobody to help and we feel all alone. And each day is just like the last. And we do not know how we are going to do it. And how we can survive a life that is so hard.

    And in my case I found this site, and I began to make a different kind of life for myself.

    First I want to tell you that i know how hard it is when you are ill. But the thing is when you are ill, it is more important that you become the center of your life. Even more when there is so much stress and worry around you.

    My life is not so hard, really. I have a lot of good things going on. But I feel a great deal of despair because of bad things that happened to me in my life, and because the dream that was my son, has not turned out so good. And because I feel that his inability to thrive defines me and my own life.

    I worked very hard to have dreams in my life and to make them come true. And in the end, I am defined by failure. It is like I could not outrun my past.

    So. What does that have to do with you? Why is this woman (me) on my thread complaining?

    This is why.

    There are always things we can do. For us. Even when we think we can't. We can cry. I am not being sarcastic here. We can really let go and wail. We can lament. We can rage. We do not deserve this! And we do not. You do not.

    Now. What to do?

    What I am seeing is that as long as I define myself and my life in terms of my son, I am on the losing side. As long as I define myself by my sadness, and my ill health, I am on the losing side. But that does not mean I do not own it. I can be ill, but I can be other things too.

    If I can do one thing, on the plus column, I begin to win.

    I know you work, are alone, have a great deal of responsibility. And I know you do this despite being ill, and very tired and weak.

    To me, you are a hero. Do you ever think of yourself that way? You are. So am I, but I am usually busy trashing myself because of how I failed my son, my mother, my sister, etc. And thereby failed myself. I can be very tiresome.

    But I am trying to find another way.

    I want to recommend a book. It is one of those horses mouth books. The author is Hans Selye. And the book is called, The Stress of Life. He wrote the book on stress probably 100 years ago, maybe less. He invented the concept. And the gist of it, as I remember it, is that stress causes illness. And it makes any existing illness worse.

    We are our own special flower. In the years I have been on this board, that is the richest concept I have acquired. There was a member, ScentofCedar, who for a time was very active here. I miss her still, and it has been years, that she has been gone. And it was thru posting to her and Swot, that I decided that i would be my own special flower. And that I would protect me. I would build a fence. And I would see that nobody trampled me. And I would for sure stop trampling myself. I would give myself water. And I would tell myself I was a fine, good, and beautiful little flower.
    I am reading the bible every morning and evening. I enrolled in a foreign language class. I was exercising. I was walking. I will again. I have taken up knitting. I am going to get Netflix and Turner Classic Movies. I am making a new friend. I am calling old ones. I am cutting slips of neighborhood plants, and putting them in dollar store pots and making a potted plant garden. I will write morning pages. (Julia Cameron book, on creativity) I have tried to meditate. I have been talking about going to AA, or Al anon. So far except for one meeting, it is all talk. (AA in most meetings will accept anybody.) It would help me to learn to live a day at a time. I found a therapist a few months ago. I have a spiritual director. I am cleaning and organizing my whole house. Oh. I forgot the one that really makes me excited. I am taking a class on prayer.

    Two years ago I did not one of these things.

    (All I did was lay in bed and compulsively shop online.)

    And if i look at my life this way, in terms of the small and big things I do to be better, and keep myself from defining myself with my locus of control in my son, my life is rich. Or maybe not rich, getting richer. And your life can be too.

    All of those choices I made had to have come from a decision and a commitment to care for and treasure myself. Sometimes I lose sight of that because I become very sad. And it seems that the more I treat myself better, and listen to myself, the more I am forced to confront suffering that I had long buried. So. It is a process.

    You see. To really be my own special flower, is to accept how vulnerable and unprotected I was before. This is the hard part. The two are of a piece. The acknowledgement of pain and vulnerability, and the acceptance of such, and the decision to act in our own behalf.

    I am suggesting that you make a commitment to your health. Independent of all of the tribulations and stress that are present. And to try to make yourself, for an hour a day, or so, the center of your own life. Maybe it will be during break at work, when you read affirmations. Or giving yourself a half hour at night to sit and read. But the important thing is to acknowledge yourself. To make it conscious. To acknowledge your efforts. And to acknowledge your feelings.

    For me, posting helps. When I write these posts, I dig down into myself and find some truth that I had not before acknowledged. So. Thank you very much for letting me show up on your thread. I hope you stay with us.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know, I am known to scream. I had not put this together. When I am overwhelmed, and in severe stress, and I cannot see a way to even think from one second to the next, I will scream. Oh. It does not happen often. But it does. M hates it. I did this in a Target superstore parking lot, when the hospital was pressuring me to put my mother on hospice and she did not want to die. I just stood there by some palms and I screamed. It helped. I expressed my pain. And powerlessness. I was able within minutes to begin to work to plan the next steps.

    Now. I am not sanctioning this as a behavioral strategy. But I am trying to look at it in a way where it is not necessarily so dire. What I am trying to say is she may be a highly intelligent, willful, and emotional child. With a great deal of potential. Who needs to and will grow into herself. Not all difficulties in development are the cause of pathology. Sometimes they are just growing pains. A child has not yet caught up to her strengths and potential.

    I do not remember if I screamed as a child or teen. I probably did. I do remember as a teen I banged my head against the wall. I did it because my MOTHER was so unreasonable.

    But I turned out okay. I worked. I went to college. I never got into serious trouble. I am responsible.

    And then there is this lovely outcome for a young screamer:
    This is truly amazing. I knew she was doing well. But this is a marvel.

    Don't you think that there are people, maybe they are feeling types, as in the myers briggs, who get overstimulated in moments, who when they are children and young people just do not have the coping strategies, language, or behavioral control to deal with stress? (And that, while unfortunately in a few of us, that personality failing can continue to an unseemly age, the majority outgrow it.)

    You know. I was just re-reading your post. My Dad left when I was 8, when my parents divorced. Which is a parallel with your daughter. And there was a lot of stress for me in the years before he left.

    What is she like socially? Is she involved in activities? What about school?

    Have you heard of the book The Explosive Child? I think the author is Ross. Many parents have found it quite useful. I believe I read a book called The Highly Sensitive Child. The concept here is that there are children who have a constellation of characteristics involving temperament, experience, etc. who are prone to act in a way that looks oppositional, but that has to do more with over-stimulation, sensitivity, a predilection to an excess in feeling, etc. And not necessarily having to do with their acting out or acting against. That it feels opposition to us, because it is so noxious.

    In any event, I hope you keep posting. It helps.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    She won’t talk when we bring her to therapy. They can only suggest one medication and her genetic testing shows she would have issues. She’s back at it again already this morning.
  9. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    “I do remember as a teen I banged my head against the wall. I did it because my MOTHER was so unreasonable.”. I have to say - that part stings given that I am a mother reaching out for help. Not sure why the caps.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Seriously she is harming your health and son. I dont know how often you have her but I think it is worthwhile and not awful to go to court and give custody to your ex. You need a long break and your son does too and you cant force even a young child to cooperate in therapy. It is probably better for her not to be able to scream so much around father too. Often they bahave better around fathers. Men have low loud voices and sound like they mean it. Even my dogs listen to my husband more than me!

    It isnt helping either of you, daughter or you...add deal with this.

    Think about it for everyones sake. If she improves you can go back to court and modify custody. She is still too young for even a psychiatrist to know for certain what causes this. Psychiatry is an inexact science. It is theory even with adults. I have learned this from being in the mental health system singa age 23. Forty years.

    You may want ro try a neouro psycholiogy evaluation. They are more intensive but still there are no conclusive blood or brain tests that all professionals know to be true. But its worth a try.
  11. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you very much. Her father won’t agree to taking her. He’s basically the type to put his head down, push things under the rug, and hope they just go away.
  12. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you very much. I’m not sure if I am replying to these correctly as I’m new.
  13. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Truedntrue - thank you. My illness has no cure and my genetics don’t allow me to take any medications. So on that front, I’ve had to just survive. Her Dad will not take her more unfortunately. And I have asked her therapist. Unfortunately her Daf won’t agree to her being sent anywhere, so I have to go to court to pursue that. I don’t think I can survive that financially (lawyer, missed work) or physically. I feel trapped. If it weren’t for my son, I’d just find a way to leave.
  14. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    He won’t agree to any change in custody. And I’m terrified I would lose my son too.
  15. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you - it helps to know you can relate. I’ve thought about trying to survive until she leaves, but I am certain I’ll end up in the hospital or worse. And then my son loses his mom.
  16. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you. That’s how I see my future too - surviving until she leaves. It’s so hard with no support and my health. No one can bear to be around this so I’m alone.
  17. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you very much. Her father won’t agree to taking her. He’s basically the type to put his head down, push things under the rug, and hope they just go away.

    But I agree - she’s hurting my son and I
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont know if this will help.

    I had a close acquaintance who, like us, adopted kids. She had her niece, a little girl and a biological siblng group of two, boy and girl.

    The boy was so angry and destructive and violent that the police were always there and finally CPS took him to a residential center because he admitted he was attracted to little girls (he was 12 and he had a young sister). None of the other kids were removed and they are doing well as adults.

    I think maybe foster care could work for daughter. Then if ex says no he may be forced to take custody. I cant see why they would take your son.

    As for husband custody is up to the Judge, not your ex. My own son is in a fierce custody battle. The Judge is the word, not the mother orbfather orbeven the lawyers. You dont tell a Judge NO.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  19. lostlaura99

    lostlaura99 New Member

    Thank you that does help. I didn’t know the judge could tell him that he has to - and possibly not take my son.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Well, the Judge likely wont force ex to take her but he could. More likely he can force daughter to get treatment whether ex likes it or not. Judge has more power than what an ex wants, especially if the child is so sick. I would gather documentatuon from school and mental health professionals and present that in court. Do try to get a lawyer. Does daufhter have a GAL?

    Your daughter needs help. Your son is fine. Neither child should be pulled from your actual custody. My friends retained custody of their son. He just lived in a residential treatment home. He did get to visit as did they him

    Just a question. Has your daughter ever been tested for autustic soectrum disorder? Did she speak late, does she like repetition, does she rage at change, does she know how to socialize, does she have odd quirks like rocking or hand flapping, does she repeat what you say or what the television says, does she tend to be clumsy? Is she sensitive to noise, touch, feel, taste? Does she have a great rote memoey but abstract thinking confuses her?

    If any of that rings true I would forget a psychiatrist for now and take her for a neuro psychological exam (this is a specialized psychologist, not a neurologist) and have a complete evaluation. My son had ten hours of testing. He is doing well at 25. He is on the spectrum and doing well on his own. You can find neuro psychologists at university hospitals and childrens hospitals.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018