Really Don't Know How to Feel About This...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    OK - so last week around here was H*ll...

    But now, things have changed and I don't really understand it.

    difficult child shuts me out all the time, and then talks to her Dad about everything. I get grunts and one-word answers - but husband gets told all about difficult child's day. I was always sooo envious. I wanted that kind of relationship with my daughter soooo badly! But it seemed that no matter what I did, difficult child was angry with me...and felt great about her Dad. Eventually, I became resigned and just accepted that difficult child was "Daddy's girl" and resented her Mom and that was it.

    Since the events of last week - difficult child has switched this around. She is now shutting her Dad out. HE is now the "bad guy".

    husband is completely thrown by this. She's not talking to me - what should I do? I asked her to do something, she completely ignored me - what do I do???
    What should you do? Get used to it! Welcome to my world!

    And now - FINALLY - I am the "good guy". difficult child came home from school yesterday eager for my attention. She wanted to tell me all about her day...she wanted desparately to get my feedback and approval. I cannot even explain how I felt in this moment - I've been hoping for this from my daughter for longer than I can remember - it was just wonderful!

    And then, as I listened to my daughter speak, I realized I was STUNNED at the things she wanted to tell me.

    First, there was a long racist rant about the blacks at school and her ideas about what she was gonna do to them to tick them off.
    Then, she told me about how she had been right all along that so-and-so was a psycho...
    There was another person should have known better than to mess with her! Ha! She got what was coming to her!
    And that boy should have KNOWN not to go out with that girl - so she wrote him a note telling him that he'd better break up...

    And all of these things were said in an eager, kind of breathless excitement - the way one might speak about hearing that the cutest guy in school is going to ask you to the dance - and she was really proud of herself and wanted to get my approval. (I swear I could hear the angels on my shoulders arguing about how to handle this - certainly we don't want to actually APPROVE of these behaviors - but what happens if we say something negative? Do I want a relationship? or do I want to offer some guidance here? What is the proper response to this???)

    Then difficult child began to give me her opinions on ME. How it's silly for me to brush dog hair off my clothes before leaving the house, and how it's ridiculous for me to open doors for other people, and why would I be nice to other people, etc...

    I really had no idea what to say to half of this! In the end, I only responded with "Oh?" and "Mmpf"...

    This was crazy! This was sooo not what I expected. So at the end of the night, I went to husband and told him all about it. I told him how I had never had these kinds of conversations with difficult child before - is this how she normally talks?

    husband laughed at me and said "Yep. That's your REAL daughter."

    So - okay then. Good.

    and scary.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Onyxx does this to me, occasionally, too. Not so much as that, but... It switches back and forth between me and husband.

    I never know what to say, either - because THAT is the kid I like (I love her no matter, but I don't always like her). THAT is the kid I want around...
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, that's what I was prepared for, the kid I "Like"....

    but I guess that the "real" difficult child is not a very nice person. I was not prepared for all the talk about "getting" other people, and revenge, and her "rep" and how everyone should know not to mess with her. It really threw me for a loop!

    And then she criticized me for being nice to other people!

    So yeah, not what I was expecting. But, on the other hand - it does give me a lot of insight into why our relationship has been so strained all these years. We have completely different ways of seeing the world. For difficult child, the world is a very hostile place...and she prides herself on having a good offense. Get them before they get you! I don't think that way at all...

    So I will have to figure out a different way of relating to this girl.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    There's definitely a down side to being the listener. Out of the eight kids, difficult child#2 was and still is the hardest because like your daughter there is this naive innocence and enthusiasm intertwined with really distorted ideas and perceptions. My instincts always make we want to "correct" the distortions via dialong with him. You'd think at my age I would know better, lol. on the other hand it's such a warm intimate sharing of time. Sigh. I think I really understand. I know I don't any valuable input. Just wanted you to know that I've been there done that and still sometimes end up going there and doing that. Hugs DDD
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Exactly, DF. I like the way she confides in me and WANTS to talk to me. The whole hurting other people thing is out of my realm, though. I don't understand it.

    In Onyxx's case - she learned that the world WAS a hostile place because she kept getting hurt. She has admitted to her counselor that bio beat the snot out of her from a very early age. We suspected, but... She's also confused and doesn't understand how to relate to people who DON'T use violence, sneakiness, deception to get their way (AKA me and husband).

    Your difficult child, though... I don't know why.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I think the "why" is the PD. My mother has a lot of Borderline traits (and may very well be Borderline (BPD) - just never been officially diagnosed).

    I see now what you are saying. YES - it was very exciting and felt so good that difficult child wanted to talk to me. That was the good part!


    Thank you for saying this. It helps to know I'm not the only one biting my tongue for the sake of sharing time with my difficult child!
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I wonder why all of a sudden you're the "good guy" and husband is the "bad guy" when it seemed like she blamed you for her instruments being taken away. That seems so odd.

    Anyway, I'm glad that she finally opened up to you, but I can understand how you really didn't know what to say to about the things she was saying. I'm not sure I would know what to say, either, if difficult child said some of those things to me. Maybe you could just say to her something like, "Well, I see it a little differently than you do. Would you like to hear my opinion?" Maybe she will, maybe she won't, but it might at least open a dialogue where another idea can be expressed.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm so sorry. It had to be heartbreaking to hear her talk like that.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - and I'm really trying to work on that...

    I've always had a picture of difficult child in my head ( I guess we all have visions for our babies) and I always thought I was gonna be that super-supportive Mom: attending the school plays, cheering at the awards ceremonies, fundraising for the team, going for ice cream after that first big break-up, shopping for prom dresses, picking out colleges...

    and this roller-coaster ride hasn't been anything even close to what I thought. But that's more MY problem than it is difficult child's problem.

    And I'm trying really REALLY hard to let go of that picture and see difficult child for who she really is....and trying hard to bite my tongue.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Gosh, Bunny - it's ALL been odd! If I could figure out the rhyme or reason it would be so much easier...
  11. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I have said on more than one occasion that difficult child and husband have a much better relationship than difficult child and I do. husband is definelty the "better" parent to my difficult child in my humble opinion.

    He is more patient and understanding and feels very, very sorry for difficult child. Sometimes these feelings of husband can be a problem too. I have always been the bad guy because no one else was going to step up to the plate so I had to.

    This has caused animosity between difficult child and myself and also between husband and myself. There is no easy balance with a difficult child but we all do our best.

    I can also relate to your difficult child's rants DF. It is almost no sense of reality of what is incredibly wrong, hurtful for just plain inappropriate.

    SIGH ...

  12. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    So this has happened here as well a while ago. Dad has always been the stuff, and me the non-stuff. difficult child has decided I am good for something now. It has ended up being a manipulation in the end. She decided she couldn't work her dad for somethings and could work me for it instead. It has not worked out that way, but she continues to talk to me like never before. I don't trust it and thats a shame. We can't pinpoint why she keeps talking to me and is a bit miffed at dad?? It started with her trying to get hair dye and we won't do it-only the basics. She continues to talk to me and I do call her on the bull but also let her know I am glad she is talking. I keep hoping she will get something out of the relationship.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh, DF. There are so many ways to look at this, so many ways to interpret. And we may never know the real answer... but someday you might. The way it strikes me? She's so full of negativity and anger and frustration that, when she "tries to be herself", all this stuff pours out... and maybe it really isn't her at all. She might have to find ways to get rid of those layers, before the real person shows herself at all... even to herself. The positive thing is that she is talking at all...

    And the whole swing-between-parents thing? It's typical of younger kids - part of normal development. But kids with developmental challenges (across a wide range of dxes) are "younger" than their years, especially emotionally. Which means that this particular behavior may be totally normal for their "emotional age". I found it helpful with our difficult child to look at it that way... to take his behavior as though he were the age he is acting, rather than expecting him to act his age, because in reality, he can't act his age, he hasn't "got there" yet.

    And... when you're part of a family that includes a difficult child... when anything changes, positive or negative, it puts everybody else on edge, because it isn't "normal"... even when/if it is!