Relationship between difficult children and other children

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Coping11, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member


    Does anyone see any problems with the relationship between your difficult children and your other kids? Or in the way other children respond to the issues your difficult children are dealing with?

    Based on many things he's said recently, my son seems to see my daughter's mental health issues as some kind of a "moral failure" or "weakness" (he also told us that she should never have children because of her "bad genetics"). Daughter heard some of his comments and was badly hurt.

    I know these statements result from daughter's behaviors towards son when she was going through episodes, as well as son's reaction to being exposed to the chaos she was putting us through. I also believe that this cruel response in due to some of son's issues.

    Did anyone here see anything like this in your own families? How did you deal with it?
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My daughter has no relationship with my son. It kind of breaks my heart because they were close when they were both young. I have come to the conclusion that I need to stay out of it. They are now both adults and they will work out whatever relationship they will or will not have. I don't think they will have a relationship until my son is really and truly sober for awhile.... And then maybe it will be possible.
  3. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Sibling relationships are so difficult. The struggle is real and ours are still teens. J makes life hard, she is the oldest and expects to be treated as such. She wants A to ask before touching anything in her room. But, sees nothing wrong with borrowing A's things. The problem is she is careless and doesn't take good care if things. Like walks on the heels of shoes instead of putting them on right, gets stains, but doesn't try to clean it up, but the worst is losing things!

    A is often embarrassed by her sisters appearance or actions or friends. And J gets her feelings hurt if she is not included in A's plans. So hard to navigate. KSM
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I thought my kids would never get alone. My daughter so resented our son whose mental illness took so much of our time. She was dealing with her own depression and anxiety as well. They are polar opposites. He is extroverted to the max and she is introverted to the max. My daughter used the word hate with him frequently and always said if she ever gets married he will not be invited to the wedding. She even called the police on him once. I really believed that as grown ups they would never see one another.

    About two years ago she started seeking therapy on her own (before that we had her going but the therapist wasn't good and she didn't progress) with a great therapist. She also went away to school. During that time she has matured and difficult child has also matured a lot (although is still a difficult child). They actually are now getting along for the most part. There are still times when they argue like crazy but that is less often (probably because she doesn't live here year round). In fact, the other night the two kids were coloring in the kitchen together and giggling for hours.
  5. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    So hard. I wonder about future troubles with my grandkids. Difficult grandson (9 going on 6) has hurt his sister (7 going on 12), but the she'll turn around and get him going so he gets in trouble. My daughter-in-law--in her early 50s (not related to the children) shared with me about how her brother tortured her when they were younger and she hated him for years. They didn't reconcile until he was dying of cancer many, many years later. In a quiet moment with Difficult grandson, I told him that story and asked if that's he wanted his relationship with his sister to end up like that. I tell you what, blissful peace the rest of the day and nice playing between them. He loves and protects his sister so much, but then will hit her and mess with her until she cries. I remember my older brother doing that to me, too. Some of it's painfully normal, I guess, but resentments about all the attention the "identified patients" in a household receives is a real struggle.
  6. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I have no relationship with my only sister; I have no brothers. We never got along as children and I often questioned if we were even related. I used to say she was adopted. She was very pretty with long straight hair, big blue eyes and freckles with fair skin. My parents and I all had dark curly hair and brown eyes. I was verbally abusive to her and she was physically abusive to me; I don't know what started first but I am older by 2 years. I remember her doing things like sticking her foot out to trip me when I was roller skating and I remember reporting on her every bad deed to my parents, who seemed to relish the competition and animosity between us. At this point, if I never saw her again, it would be fine with me.

    My dad didn't talk to his older sister for 35 years (till he died), even though for half that time, they lived in the same apartment building, one floor apart.

    H on the other hand, had a great relationship with his sister until adulthood. Now, she is a drug abuser who takes advantage of his mother so we try to avoid her.

    With my kids, I hope that they will stay in touch with each other. My daughter will likely be the glue that keeps the 4 boys together, especially if she marries her current boyfriend, who all the boys really like. The two youngest boys get along much better than they used to, when the school would call about them fighting in the hallways. The 2 middle boys (including the older of the 2 youngest) have a large overlapping group of friends, probably because they are 21 months apart and grew up in scouting together. Oldest boy is friends with a couple of the middle boys' friends and sometimes hangs with them. He and youngest boy (they are almost 9 years apart) have really bonded over the last year. I hope that my kids have better relationships with each other than H and I do with our siblings.
  7. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member

    Thank you all. It's good to know that my son is not abnormal. This situation affects him too... he's seen his sister go through hospitalizations and inpatient/residential program admissions, losing and gaining weight, going through manic and depressive episodes (she's really textbook-bipolar) and suicide attempts. I know he's occasionally been sidelined because of her needs. My only worries is that he's becoming so cold and rigid in his beliefs....
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You might be dealing with more than just the list of challenges given for the son. For one, likely some level of PTSD from being on the sidelines of his sister's life. HE needs help. But he also needs YOU. Can you find a way to carve out specific time for him, in a non-stressed environment, for the two of you? Like, take him out for coffee once or twice a week, or go watch a sports event if that's your mutual interest... any environment where it's possible to talk but not totally necessary to do so. Just give of yourself. Invest in him. It's not too late.

    (but it IS hard to get the time... takes a real consistent effort, due to the tendency of the most challenging child to swallow up all available resources... )
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My daughter was also rigid and cold. When she spoke about him, it was with pure venom. Like IC recommended, we tried to do special things with just her but it wasn't easy and she was a moody teen so it wasn't always pleasant.

    I think our son's illness also has a lot to do with her depression and anxiety.
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    My three easy children want nothing to do with their two sisters, as long as they are using. It has been a hard road for them as well, so much turmoil and loss. It is hard for them, phone calls or texts usually mean a request for something. They miss the relationship they had, before drugs came into the picture. For now, they have completely detached. It is sad, but they are tired of the cruel game, addiction becomes with family members.
    For years concentration was on trying to help our two D cs, especially because of the grands.
    My easy children are determined not to get sucked in, and have drawn a line. For now, they have stuck to it.
    Blossom and Hoku are extremely close, and spend a lot of time together. Son is busy with school, band, paddling and his friends. He adores his sisters and has been hurt by the craziness of it all. I had him see a therapist, to talk confidentially and get his feelings out. She released him after about six sessions, saying he was a solid kid. So far, so good. He despises alcohol and drugs, because of what he saw with his two sisters. Hopefully, that will stick. He confided with me that some of the kids were passing around some kind of "Apple drink" before practice, he was disgusted and refused. Yay. Phew......
    It is sad, but my two d cs have pretty much turned their backs on their family, replaced us with their drug friends. Not giving up hope, just know the reality of this, for now......still praying the "wake up call" will come. Not holding our breath til it does.
    Addiction sucks, if you will pardon my language.