Sad to say but I have to move easy child into the difficult child category...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ThreeShadows, May 10, 2011.

  1. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I should have started to ask all of you for help one year ago. I kept on thinking it was typical teen rebellion.

    She had always been a good eater, then suddenly started to complain about every meal I made. She wants her protein on one plate and her veggies on another. The veggies must be raw and cannot touch. I was freaking while Jena was going through her daughter's food issues. I didn't want to precipitate anorexia/bulimia.

    She has spent the last year in her room, on the phone and computer, wants nothing to do with us.

    We planned on going to France this Summer to visit what is left of my family. She had a major fit, refused to go, threatening to make our lives miserable. She cannot live without constant contact with her friends.

    She had to go to phospital after she slashed her arm, requiring ten stitches. She came back with foul language, learned at the group meetings, was reprimanded by a teacher for saying something was s****y. That is new behavior.

    She told her dad that when she has reached the age of 18 she will not see either of us except for the day she gets to put us in a nursing home.

    This morning, her ever vigilant brother saw her getting in a car with three boys instead of taking the bus. The bus driver reported that she has not taken the bus on a regular basis of late. She will be 15 in June. She suspects that we know and started to make up all kinds of stories about being at a different bus stop "because she knew a mom she wanted to talk to".

    I am heartbroken and completely lost. I have no idea what rights parents have these days. We have emailed her therapist with this info. I have little hope because of past experiences with difficult child 2 and his therapist who was more interested in befriending him than helping our family.

    This is so sad.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, 3S. I'm not up on the laws, either; they vary so much from state to state. Those years from 14 to 17 were the absolute worst for us; I was alternating between furious and feeling helpless most of the time. When I was in furious mode, I kicked her behind on a regular basis, demanding civilized behavior and grounding her almost constantly, while remaining in almost daily communication with school. One thing that helped on my end is that Miss KT thinks I'm crazy (not always the good kind) and she's seen me wig out enough on other people to be afraid of me...I'm unpredictable and confrontational. I even quit work to stay home and monitor her behavior, and she hated it.

    The helpless feeling, the "I have no idea what to do with this girl who may very well go out and get pregnant, or a disease, OD on something, or raped or killed and tossed in a ditch because she thinks she's all that and smarter than the rest of the universe to boot" feeling? I never found a cure for that. My detachment skills didn't quite stretch to that extent all the time, though. I prayed - a lot - that she wouldn't do anything terminally stupid, and in between fighting with Miss KT, I fought for her. It was so hard to find a balance, and I'm not sure I did, but she did graduate from high school, and has completed two years of college.

    I know, it's so hard. Sending more hugs and lots of strength.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm sorry, 3S. I would contact juvenile detectives in your area for info on what parents/kids can or cannot do. I live in a state that gives parents control until the kid is 18, with only a few exceptions. Man, was difficult child ticked off when a police officer told her she essentially has no rights outside of what I give her.

  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Ugh. I'm so sorry to read this, 3S. :(
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for the pain you are going through 3S.
    In the reading I have done about adoption, it is often said that adolescence can be a time of real crisis for adopted children. To what degree this is operating for your daughter I obviously cannot know, but it may be relevant. Have you read "The Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier? In talking about adoptees' anger and rejection of adoptive parents she says:
    "...even though adoptees tend to feel innately responsible for their own relinquishment; there is a paradoxical feeling of having been a victim. This, then, implies a need for someone to blame. Adoptees vacillate back and forth between blaming themselves for not having been good enough to keep to having a feeling of helplessness and undifferentiated anger for having been so manipulated. [...] While it is true that seeing adoption as the only issue may cause parents and children to overlook some obvious interpersonal conflicts, it is important to keep in mind that adoptees are victims of manipulation of the gravest kind: the severing of their tie to the birthmother and their biological roots. The feeling of being a victim is not just a fantasy but a reality. Being abandoned often leaves one with a permanent feeling of being at the mercy of others. The fact that the child does not consciously remember the substitution of others does not diminish the impact of the experience. In fact the inability to consciously remember the experience may make the impact even more devastating and perplexing. [...] Having been manipulated at the beginning of their lives makes some adoptees manipulative and controlling. Families of acting-out adoptees will know what I am talking about. [...] Parents and clinicians should not dismiss the feeling of victimization on the part of the adoptee as a rationalization and a means of avoiding the resolution of conflicts with his parents. They should, instead, first acknowledge the child's feelings, then go on to the interpersonal problem. Lashing out against the adoptive parents is a way for the adoptee to try to externalize his inner shame. [...] In working with adoptive families, it seems to be tremendously helpful for the adoptive parents to understand the source of their child's anger, because instead of becoming defensive, they can acknowledge feelings. [...]
    Adolescence is a difficult time in the lives of parents and their children whether adopted or not, but it seems especially difficult for those children who have no sense of their history. [...] For the hitherto compliant adoptee, this may be the first time he becomes aware of his deep feelings about his relinquishment and adoption. [...] The lack of personal history is a handicap for the adoptee because of the importance of knowing one's past before planning for the future. [...] Because of the dearth of information about his own history; the adoptee often has a more stressful adolescence than his non-adopted counterpart. That profound separation of his biological sense of himself and his inability to identify with either of his adoptive parents may prompt some adoptees to act out destructively during adolescence, even if they had previously been compliant. This often astonishes their adoptive parents, who had thought that their child had made a good adjustment. The parents often feel betrayed by their previously docile child and unable to cope with the situation."
    And so on. I have quoted just the essential. The author talks about these issues in greater detail and then goes on in the next chapter to address healing and ways in which the hurting adoptee can be helped, and the adoptive parents come to a deeper understanding of what is going on. I do recommend the book if you don't already know it.
    Can I ask to what degree the issue of adoption has been addressed for your daughter, now and in the past? Do you feel it is a factor in what is going on for her right now?
  6. ski10

    ski10 New Member

    I'm so sorry this is happening.

    Malika mentioned a book by Nancy Verrier, I was adopted and when I read her book she knew everything I was feeling and had always felt, everything she says is true, it's amazing seeing it in words.

    I'm not saying this is why your daughter is this way right now but it could have something to do with it, there are feelings that we have that we just can't explain, and I know at your daughter's age I told no one, held it all in and I hate to say did call my parents names, didn't mean it, it just came out.

  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I can feel your saddness in your words. The book Malika has recommended, and ski10 seconds, sounds like a good move - you just have to get her to read it.

    The persnickety stuff is livable, it's the dangerous behavior that would concern me. A serious conversation about pregnancy and stds sounds in order - if she won't listen to you, take her to her doctor and let him/her give her the reality.

    What was the result of the phospital stay? Was she given any type of diagnosis that you are treating?

    I'm not sure I really understand your question about what your rights are. If she is going to private therapy, the therapist really can't talk to you unless it's a case of "life and death". But going together for family therapy or having the therapist can get her to sign that therapist can talk to you are options. You have a right not be verbally abused in your home - you have a right to know where your 14 year old daughter is at all times - you have a right to intervene if you feel she is not being safe.

    Insofar as the trip to France this summer - don't take her. Does husband have any family she can stay with here? Why ruin your whole trip with a moody, ungrateful teenager. I know you would prefer to spend the time with your entire family as you visit your homeland but, as you know, living with difficult children means all bets and "normalcies" are off. You might just give her what she wants - maybe that little dose of reality will make her realize this is life - she can't control everything.

    Sorry things are so difficult right now.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im so sorry 3s. I have no idea what the laws are where you are but as far as I know where I am, I assume I had complete authority to tell my kid what to do and how high to jump until he was 18, or so we both thought and that was good enough for our family. As long as Cory believed we could tell him what to do, all worked out well. Actually Cory thought we could we could do that longer until some idiots told him

    I would be taking her to school from now on if it were me. When mine were skipping school, that is what the punish earned.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Oh honey.

    I don't have a lot of advice to offer. I do have lots of hugs for you, and for easy child as well.

    I was not adopted. However, I can imagine that there is some buried koi... I don't really know. Just wanted you to know I'm here for you.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    3S, I'm so sorry to here easy child is going difficult child on you. Question for you. Does easy child/difficult child have a diagnosis of any kind? I ask that because kt & wm are "disabled" & I have every right & to sit in on therapy & do so every month or so.

    kt's last GP visit included her first pelvic exam & GP (also my golf buddy) informed me that given kt's diagnosis's with the risk taking behaviors I would automatically be kept in the loop.

    You can definitely make your easy child/difficult child world a great deal smaller. Lose the cell phone, she can take/make calls only from approved friends. Wait at the bus stop with her. Heck, take her to school in your bathrobe, with curlers in your hair, a ciggy hanging from your mouth & smeared lipstick. Walk her to her first class.

    I agree it's time to take your daughter into your family MD versus her pediatrician. I think an open honest discussion of sexual activity must happen & if easy child/difficult child is sexually active precautions needs to be put in place including birth control.

    I'm sorry 3S ~ you're one of my favorite people here. I've been there done that with ktbug & it drives me absolutely batty.

    by the way, this is the time of year the tweedles go absolutely bonkers over the bio family & adoption issues. Mother's Day & Father's Day are some of the worst holidays ever.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    3S, just an addendum to my post above. Adoption issues are just that ~ they need to be addressed. However, over the years I've learned to listen quietly yet not allow those issues to cripple the tweedles. Their life is what it is. I can't change what happened in their young lives more than I can change the weather.

    Too much coddling over being adopted is a dangerous thing. It sets you up as the "enemy" for lack of a better word. The reality I teach the tweedles is that I'm not the mother who hurt or allowed them to be hurt. I'm the mom who's given kt & wm a stable loving home.

    There are too many successful people out there who are adopted. I point out to the tweedles those people.

    If kt & wm choose to abandon the family that loves them it is their choice.

    wm has decided long ago not to bother trying; he feels abandoned yet has never tried to attach or, in the same right has abandoned, husband & myself. Nothing will ever be right for wm. It's wm's belief, his way of "surviving" his past.

    So.... life moves forward for your easy child/difficult child. She needs to find a way to maneuver thru her adolescent years, her world & the world in general. Her choices are risky & that must be addressed .... I just don't see it as an adoption issue. I wonder if bio parents had a hx of something or another that is rearing it's ugly head.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My guess is there is some drug use going on. Have you checked her room when she isn't there? Many shy kids, adopted or not, tend to use drugs as teens if they feel insecure or socially inept. This can cause very suddenly changes in the child. That's what happened with our oldest daughter.

    My youngest daughter, who is fourteen, is very well behaved and we are very close. We talk about adoption whenever she wants to. She feels that being adopted is a special need. I do think it needs to be addressed by an adoption therapist, if she feels the need to discuss it. I think it is healthy to do that. But not all therapists understand adoptees. However, I also doubt that this is the whole issue. Plenty of adoptees do fine during their teen years. I only had one who did not and she straightened out on her own.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that she is struggling so much. I cannot speak on adoption issues as I have no personal experience. I would want her to see a therapist experienced in these issues though. IF you do not like her therapist, find a new one. The therapist should support you as the parent and her as the child. A therapist who does not do both would NOT be seeing my child. IF that therapist tried to see my child at school or any time with-o my permission (I know of a few cases where the parent changed the therapist and the therapist was enabling the difficult child and still went to see the difficult child and "therapize" them with-o appointments or permission.) I would have them arrested for whatever (I am sure there is a law against this) and I would also file complaints with the licensing boards and have them thrown out of practice. I would also sue for alienation of affection and damages to myself and my child. There are real consequences for that - it happened years ago here in our town and to friends in another state. Not all therapists are mentally stable - the profession attracts many people with major problems of their own.

    After having a sp ed teacher drive my son into psychosis because she thought I was "too mean" by expecting him to not be violent to his famly, well, I have less than zero patience for anyone interfering with a child this way.

    I would insist on a trip to the doctor. If she does not have a female doctor, then she will likely need a female gynecologist. I took Jess at age 12 to the gyn because her periods were so awful and painful. I also made sure that they have permission to treat her there with-o my consent. I wanted her to be able to get care if she felt she couldn't talk to me. doubt it would happen that way but you never know. Your daughter needs to hear from the doctor about STDs and about pregnancy prevention. I don't know your religious beliefs, but a baby at her age would be devastating to her. I would NOT opt for daily birth control pills because all manner of things can make them not work. I would ask about the depo shot for her to protect her. You cannot really stop her if seh is determined to have sex but you can help to keep her from getting pregnant. I don't know if she can refuse treatment at a medical doctor.

    As for therapy, the age of consent differs from state to state. Soem give that right as early as twelve or fourteen, while in OK the age is 18. Before that they have to get a judge to overrule the parent and in this state that just isn't happening unless abuse can be proven. Other rights vary from state to state also. Even the right to dropout of school is as young as 14 in some states. My kids were told that I don't give a fig what the law says, until they are 18 and living on their own supporting themselves they WILL do as we say and see docs/tdocs as we decree. We are not dictators, instead I am working to teach them how to control those things. I listen to how they feel, what a medication does and doesn't do, and then include them in discussionw ith the doctor when age appropriate. But they KNOW that if they don't like my decision they will do as I say anyway. If they choose to file an abuse report for that they better be ready to leave with the social worker because they will NOT live here. OF course we do not abuse tehm, but many kids here report it anyway if they are angry at their parents. Even Wiz didn't dare try that one.

    Heck, a few states still have laws that REQUIRE a parent to use corporal punishment. It is on the books here tha parents will spank their kids as needed for discipline. even CPS must prove that a spanking left bruises or welts or they cannot remove kids. In the last couple of years the court has upheld this when CPS tried to say that all spanking was abuse - they were NOT happy when the judge and appellate court said it was not and parents had to use corp punishment if needed to control a wayward teen.
  14. Wiynter

    Wiynter New Member

    I 3rd "The Primal Wound". Excellent book. I'm an adoptee, it helped me immensely.

    Sorry things are so rough for you right now.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive hugs yours way. I have not "walked that walk" but I do understand the pain that comes from a easy child morphing into a difficult child. It's painful. DDD