She thinks she doesn't need help!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by exhausted, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    My difficult child is now in a therapuetic home and attends a DBT day treatment program. This is a very specific skills based therapy which has been recommended and we hoped she would get.In addition we get DBT coaching training so we can support her. After 18 months of Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), years of counseling, etc. she is being very resistant. She says she already knows this stuff and that it is therapy for "retards". If she knows this stuff it is interesting how she has not used it. She was ok coming home on weekends until last weekend and we saw the same oppositional behaviors and rudeness. She says we should be proud of her because she has not run (something she did every weekend after she got out of Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) and why she is now where she is) and that she doesn't need therapy. She told me she isn't going to stop being who she is. Last week we found out that her 23 year old, possible gang member "boy friend", had written her a letter from jail. He is there for domestic violence and we think maybe because we turned him in for statutory rape.( A real winner) She told us she is going to be who she is and that she was always going to love him and talk to him. The agency told her she was not to contact him and that they would issue a no contact order if she did. (They need to anyway- I know she will sneak and mail letters some way).
    If she isnt compliant, she'll end up in detention or in more restricted environment- not necessarily therapuetic. I know she must understand this but am I aweful for not wanting to remind her? We have 2 more years to try to get this under control and then she is on her own to self destruct. I feel like she may have to hit the bottom of the bottoms (can't figure how she can go lower than she has), to finially admit that she is not alright in her thinking and she does not possess or know the skills she needs to be stable let alone happy!
    We prayed for this program and pushed for it and now she is saboutaging. I read the posts here and I wonder if there is hope with such an oppositional troubled kid. Is it ok for me to let my 16 year old sink the last real hope she has for treatment? Will she even be scared by detention, she seems to glorify the whole jail thing? Im scared to death again. The one good thing is she is clean- they test for that.
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I understand... Onyxx doesn't think she needs help, either.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Exhausted and welcome. So glad you found us.

    16 is an awful age. Well... LOL, I guess it's all relative, because 9 wasn't so great, nor was 14, and I really didn't love 18. But at 16 you've got a kid who thinks she knows it all and has it under control, and at the same time is still subject to supervision in one form or another and so she isn't really allowed to see how little of her life she's actually got under control, or maybe more accurately, she's protected from the full force of her poor decisions because of that supervision but she doesn't see that she is protected. At 16, your daughter has this opportunity for treatment, but at the same time, at least in my experience, there is absolutely no way to force her to take advantage of this opportunity. My son never responded well to rewards or positive reinforcement. We could have offered him his heart's desire at 16, if he would only participate in his treatment, and he would have immediately headed in the opposite direction. I did start detaching when he was 16. I was just drained - I couldn't fight him anymore, I couldn't fight the program he was in, I just didn't have any fight left in me.

    My kid was the poster child for oppositional behavior. If we said stop, he'd go. If we said go, he'd stop. husband and I both fully expected, best case scenario, that he'd be incarcerated in short order after hitting 18. Worst case, we expected a call to identify his body. It was a very dark time.

    I think at some point we do have to start letting our kids make their choices and feel the full weight of the consequences of those choices. When that point is is probably different for everyone. I will say that it's incredibly painful to step back and watch your kid make some really horrible decisions. Literally, I cried daily for about 6 months the year my kid turned 18. I see-sawed between wanting to rescue him and thinking that I had to back off and let him figure it out. We did end up trying to bring him home when he was about 18-1/2. He lasted 36 hours before he took off to be with his "family" (street kids he'd been hanging out with- in the city). Heartbreaking.

    I do think there's hope, but like everything else with- our kids, you kind of have to alter your definition of hope. My son is alive, not incarcerated, I think drug-free right now. He's not living on the street anymore. He's making an effort to find a job and seems to be trying to get his GED done, or redone depending on which version of his stories you believe. I think he leads an incredibly depressing life right now, but I also know that I simply cannot fix it for him. He has *got* to do it on his own, or at the very least get to the point where he will ask for help - he's not there yet, and I kinda think he never will be. He will be the first to tell you that his first year on his own was *horrible*, but will also admit freely that it was by his choice. I think some kids have to really go thru some really hard times to start toying with the idea that maybe their way isn't the only way.

    I guess I really just don't have any sage advice for you. The optimist in me says fight as long as you can to get her to participate in treatment and to avoid more punitive placements. The realistic (at least, I think it's the realist - maybe it's the pessimist) in me says that at 16, your hands are tied somewhat because you cannot *force* her compliance and maybe it's time to try to give yourself a break from the battle. But if you do step back, you need to prepare yourself for some pretty bad decisions on her part.

    Anyway - you are most definitely not alone. Again, welcome to the board.
  4. KFld

    KFld New Member

    It's great that they are testing her and she is clean, but I can almost guarantee you by her attitude and the fact that she feels she doesn't need anymore help, it probably won't last. Not sure what the drug of her choice was, but from my own experience with my son, it's not until they are really ready to change their life, their friends, their attitude, they will keep drifting back to the same negative choices over and over and over again.

    Not sure what to suggest with a 16 year old because when we discovered my son was an addict he was 18 and after trying many things finally had to ask him to leave our home. He hasn't lived home since, but with a 16 year old, Its a different story.

    Hope you find some answers from others on this board who are dealing with these issues with a younger child then I first dealt with it.

    Hang in there and make sure you get some help for yourself. This is a long and winding road and the earlier you can learn to control how you handle this, the better results you may have in the long run.

    Have you tried alanon??
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    No advise from me...just a big hug for you! DDD
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    (((hugs))) I'm sorry...

    I do think this is pretty typical of a lot of our kids. They view us as trying to "change who they are" instead of trying to encourage them to make better choices.

    And I do think it's very natural to feel like showing them that they really don't know everything by letting them get themselves into trouble.

    So here's the thing:

    You say you *know* that she is going to sneak and contact this boy no matter what. Well then, if that's the case....what magical words do you think you will use to remind her of the rules that will make any difference?


    As parents, we all want the best for our kids. I don't know why they try so hard to stop us from getting it for them...
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member

  8. compassion

    compassion Member

    In my expereince, this is a huge and very frustrating part of the illnesses. My daughter ahs boredline traits,which can mean cycling multiple times a day. The Stop Walking On Eggshells books and eseiclalhy the new book by Valerie Porr has helped a lot. I cannot reason with her illness. I do reinforce thiings like not running away. At 15/16 she was doing this constantly and when she got more stable on medications that stopped. I have hope and will contiure reinforcing and advocating for tratment. DBT is the way from what I have read and we have used many of the tecdhniques on mydaughter and it is effective. It is tiny baby steps and takes a long time. Porr emphasizes looking at the large picture. At Nami Monday night, a 25 year old with the same dxs as my daughter was beautfil and sober and I will never give up that hope. She is medication adherent, clean, and sober and particpating in Clubhouse program. The illness snubs tratment that it despeartely needs. My daughter currently was jsut ordered Tuesday by a diversion program for drug teating and substance abuse conceling. It is scary for her but I have hope. In August, we are gogi to move to where there is DBT. Fear and connceting consquwuenes and actions does not work for my daughter. Comapssione coaching with firm limits does. Mydaughter has a 21 year old boyfriend, same one since Sept. 2009. No, I do not think they do underatand becsue thougts are not resonable. I have and contnue to be a huge advocate for treatment versus punsihment. There is hope but it is very long and frutrating and baby steps. I find with my daughter is when she is clean, that is when the bordrline tratis relaly rear their head. Her behavior often appears to be drug induced when it is actilly a sx of her mental illness. It is all interelated.
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Thank you for your replies. I always get such good support. All I can do is hope.

    Quote " You say you *know* that she is going to sneak and contact this boy no matter what. Well then, if that's the case....what magical words do you think you will use to remind her of the rules that will make any difference?"

    There is nothing I can say that will make her follow any rules- its her choice-I just don't want to remind her of the grave consequences because she has to figure it out on her own. Its hard to do by the way. I just hope she will figure it out before she messes up this opportunity to heal.
  10. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Can you have his letters blocked at the jail he's in? Then if she doesn't get them, maybe she'll forget about him and if he doesn't hear back, maybe he'll find someone else.
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Never thought about blocking his letters. I'll see If I can- thanks!
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If she is a minor, you should be able to. Actually, better yet - give them a list of acceptable people. All others go buh-bye.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You should be able to have letters blocked...that would be a good thing. Also have his phone number blocked on your phone so it cannot except calls from a jail or prison. That is easy to do.

    Until I read the jail part I was going to suggest making him your newest best friend. If your dtr thinks you think he walks on water, she will most likely want to dump him because obviously no one that you could possibly like would be someone she would want to Reverse psychology.
  14. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Actually, a few month ago, I wondered if having him to dinner and letting him meet my huge husband and 23 year old son might help? Welcoming him into the family, proper and all, might just be the ticket to losing the loser. Too late hes in jail! Lost out on the fun! I am trying to have the letters blocked-seems its a bit complicated.