So, it's apparently all my fault, thanks H

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearts and roses, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Here I was thinking that H and I were on the same page...that we'd finaly come to an understanding of sorts in regards to difficult child.

    Last night, after I told difficult child she could not use my car, she stormed. Monkeyboy, her Knight in Shining Armor, appeared within 20 minutes to rescue her from her Big Bad Parents and left. Ugh, then later called us for a ride home! WHAT??? I don't think so. Anyway...

    H and I didn't disagree about our decisions or reactions, etc., at all. We were/are okay in that department. However, in the midst of his ranting, he said a few things that really cut me to the quick and hurt me deeply.

    He said that as a kid I coddled her too much and that I never should have fought to have her picked up as Special Education and that I taught her that she "didn't have to try because she thinks she not smart enough", that I made allowances for her.

    Now, I will be the first to admit that I second guess whether or not I just should have let her suffer through it and hope for the best that she'd come out okay....but we're talking about a child who felt so socially inept amongst her peers, her scores on the IQ and psychological testings indicated that something was not right, she was diagnosed with tourettes syndrome at age 10 and medicated lightly to control her tics so the kids wouldn't persecute her in class. This child OFTEN had thoughts of self worthlessness and consequently suicide, she had a difficult time sorting out her relationship and love for H and her bio dad, which led to some really tough years. I mean, the symptoms of her difficult child-ness were so totally apparent to not only me, but most of her teachers as well as family. Yes, I suppose if I had 5 kids zipping around my house, her symptoms would have gone less noticed and I may have even ignored much of it and let her muddle through...and who knows? Maybe she would have been okay. I think no matter which avenue we took, she would have come out with a lot of scars, okay. And, for the record, I didn't coddle her. Instead, I made every effort to teach her from an early age how to advocate for herself, something she is actually very good at (albeit, her motives are misguided at times). And she always had a very active role in her treatment and we encouraged her and gave her every opportunity to feel good about herself. She CHOSE to live the way she's living. And she CHOSE to not take advantage of every opportunity that crosses her path. And she is making the choice to be a slack-***. That's what H calls her. He calls her a lazy slack-***, loser and drip....because that's who she's hanging with, it makes her one also. He doesn't call her that to her face, but that's what he says to me when we're alone. And the thing is, it's apparent in their interactions with one another.

    I don't know if the tension that has come back into our relationship with difficult child is caused by OUR reaction to her seeing Monkeyboy again or if it's HER simply being affected by being with him again.

    Anyway, H's comments really hurt me...I don't believe there is one of us who hasn't second guessed the way they handled their difficult child along the way, but I truly, in my heart of hearts, believe that I did my best and that my main obective with BOTH my daughters was to have them grow into independent, self sufficient, happy, loving and giving adults. I see that in easy child. I don't know the exact cause of why difficult child didn't go that route, but how can two children turn out so completely different when they were raised in the same house by the same parents with the same rules, etc., if not for genetics??? I am still upset with H and I told him so. He apologized and when I asked him what he was apologizing for he couldn't say. So much for the heartfelt apology. It just bites.
  2. Love the sunshine

    Love the sunshine New Member

    Ya' know, it DOES bite a lot of the time. Having a difficult child is really hard on relationships. Of course you made decisions based on love and with the intention of your difficult child being successful in life. Unfortunately, most of the time they choose to take the longest, most difficult path. And it's THEIR choice, and you have no control over it. I used to drive myself crazy asking "why" so I try not to do that anymore. I never came up with an answer anyway.

    When we have stressful incidents with our difficult child in our house, every once in awhile, the blame game will come up with my husband and I. Over the last few months I've gotten a lot better about reminding myself that everything we did was out of love - nothing can change that. We gave our difficult child the foundation - what he decides to do with it is up to him.

    It does help to vent, though. I'm sorry it was a rough evening for you. With a name like Monkeyboy, I have some pretty funny pictures going through my head. {{{HUGS}}}
  3. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    You are right, we have all, I'm sure second guessed ourselves from time to time. I even think parents of easy child children second guess themselves as well. I mean kids don't come with instructions and let's face it, our difficult child's are 10 times more difficult to raise. I second guess everything constantly. What if I would have done this, should I have done that, if I would have done that would this be different?? It's a constant battle within my brain.

    The best we can do is advocate for our children, present them with opportunities to work with what they have and hope they make good choices. Like Love the sunshine said, unfortunately they usually choose the hardest road.

    I struggled with the decision to put my difficult child in Special Education back in the 6th grade. It was a hard choice to make. Truthfully, it was the best thing I have ever done for her. She was finally put in a class with her peers, she didn't feel like the elephant in the room anymore. She fit.

    I think it is human nature for us to want to blame something or someone. As far as you coddling your child, your a mom, it is instinctual to want to protect your children and cushion life for them. Especially children with special needs. Every choice you have ever made with regards to your difficult child has come from love. It is very hard to make objective decisions for our children, we love them. Hey, if we all followed the "rules" of parenting these kids would still have difficulties. It is what it is. We do the best we can with what we got!!

    Don't beat yourself up, you are a warrior mom!!! :)
  4. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    There is simply no excuse for H's behavior. I'm stunned that he would speak of your child in that manner, especially to you. difficult child, or no. Slack ***? Outrageous. I understand the stress your difficult child has put on him, but he was so out of line.

    My husband, when very frustrated, has very vaguely mentioned a "maybe if you hadn't".

    Oh boy, don't go there, PAL. The shoulder I showed him for THAT comment was colder than Antarctica. Of course, that was after I ripped him a new one.

    As Mothers (and I say that because it's usually us Moms who make the decisions, and shlep from resource to resourse trying to help our difficult children), we have to make so many incredibily difficult decisions in regards to what is best for our difficult children. There's no crystal balls into the future. Plus, even if we do everything "right" there aren't any guarantees. This is true even with PCs. I have some things I would have done different for Daughter. At the time, though, I believed I was making the best decision based on her current circumstances to what help was available.

    I've been accused of being "overprotective".


    Again, I did what I did because I thought it to be in her best interest at the time. No apologies.

    Seems you did that too. I hope H comes to an understanding on that.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Reading some of these responses made me recall something with easy child.

    When easy child was in the 1st grade she was picked up for tutoring in reading. Okay, fine. In 2nd grade it was apparent that she was exactly and consistently ONE YEAR behind her peers in almost all areas, including social. So, I had the school test her, etc., and eventually made the extremely difficult decision to retain her. Friend-wise, no biggie - she only had ONE friend. Almost all the kids in her grade were between 9-12 months older than her. We had just moved to CT that prior year and so we were relatively new in town. I cried through the entire meeting but in the end the principal pulled me aside and said, "easy child would have been fine. She would have played 'catch-up' every year and by January she'd have been okay. But I think holding her back was the best thing for her because now she will be able to just 'jump in' and enjoy school. Playing 'catch-up' is no picnic - I did it my whole life!" It was a nice "wow" moment for me. And within the first month of the following school year when easy child repeated 2nd grade, it was very apparent that I had made the right choice. I fretted all Summer long wondering if I'd made the right choice for her. But as parents that is what we do...we advocate and make decision at the time, based on what we think is right for our kiddos. Thanks for the support, yet again.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Isn't the quote on Suz's profile, from Maya Angelou?

    "We did what we could with what we knew, and when we knew more, we did better"? Or something to that effect.

    You did great (and still are) with your kids. H can go to H. ;)
  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I am sorry your H said those things to you and called your dtr those names. My husband also helped raise my difficult child (since she was 10) and I know it was hard on him to see me enabling her or making excuses for her, etc. but he understood how fiercely protective I was and also how defensive I was about what I was doing (feeling like no matter what I did it was wrong anyhow). He heard me speak of her in the way your H speaks of your difficult child but he would never have spoken of her that way himself, not being her bio dad--he knew it was okay for me to say it to him but not for him to say it to me.

    If I could go back and do things over there are many things I would do differently. I don't think it would necessarily change anything that she did but I would have felt better about what I was doing. She was held back in 2nd grade and I would not do that again--it only made her feel stupid. The adults all assured her that was not why she was being held back (her dad had just died after a long illness and she could not concentrate on school) but her classmates told her it was because she was stupid and that is what she believed.

    Also, I would probably not agree to have her classified as Special Education (for emotionally disturbed). Our school district bent over backwards to give her the supports we thought she needed but it seemed to just make her feel more stupid and helpless and like we didn't think she could handle a normal life.

    So, I kind of get what your H says about the coddling--I am sure I coddled difficult child too much. I knew she had mental health issues and I often felt sorry for her. I think feeling sorry for our difficult children probably is one of the worst things we can do but how can you help it? We're moms, for goodness sakes!

    And I agree that it isn't only with difficult children that you would do things over--I sure could have been a better parent to my easy child son. I was so focused on difficult child that I just let him fend for himself pretty much. I figured if he wasn't complaining he was okay despite him spending nearly all his time alone in his room. He told me later he felt so alone after his dad died.

    If I could do it over I would be a firmer parent with much more structure provided for all my kids and not be such a pushover. But, I can't so there's no use dwelling on the past.

    It really bugs me that your H would throw all that up at you now. The past is gone, you can only change what you are doing today. I happen to think you are a great mom!

  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    We all say things in anger and frustration that we don't mean. Doesn't make it right, but it does make us human. I would cut H some slack on that one.

    However, we'd be having a serious talk about the namecalling. That is inexcusable and I would insist that it be stopped immediately.

    As to the doubts and second-guessing, we all do that. We all wonder if we'd tried X, didn't do Y, listened to Z maybe our child would be different. We'll never know. We did the best we could with what we had. That's all we can do. No matter what, we did it out of love for our child. That's all our child (and others) can ask of us.
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sending many hugs. been there done that. And I hated it.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    First off, men just don't see much of this the same way we do. I think it's the whole nuturing thing goes over their head at times. I don't think they can always help it, just the way they're made up.

    Doesn't make what husband said right.

    All of us have second guessed. Even with our easy child kids. We want what is best for them and we strive for that the best way we know at the time. Hind sight is 20/20 so it isn't fair to look back and condemn decisions and actions of the past when they were made with the best knowledge available.

    If I even let myself do that for a moment I'd be sitting in a corner making weird noises and they'd be booking my padded room.

    You're right. difficult child has made her own choices. You've given her ample opportunity to take the ball and run with it. She's the one choosing not to. MB is just making it worse.

    You can tell husband that Nichole had no help whatsoever in school and it sure didn't do her any favors. She wasn't coddled (except by older sibs) and it made no difference. She still went down the wrong road until she finally realized that she is the only one who can make the right decisions and who has control.

    All we can do is try to give them what they need as kids to do well. Once they're grown, it's up to them to use it.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Thanks Lisa - I appreciate your words this morning.

    I literally tossed my hands up in the air last night after listening to H vent about how 'looney tunes' difficult child is and said, "The rest is up to her! We've done all we can."

    I've decided that I'm going to tell difficult child that we're NOT paying for her to go to school at this time. I'm going to tell her that she needs to focus on making some money right now by working as much as she can. She can enroll for the February class if she still wants to do it then. The thing is, she hasn't even completely all the paperwork, the class only takes 10 people and the class begins on Sept 15th. I'm thinking that she should have had her paperwork in before now anyway. I would bet that if we called the woman in charge of that class, she would tell us it's been filled for this session anyway. I just do not feel like plunking out $2000 for difficult child in the HOPES that she commits to it and goes steadily. According to my friend's daughter, the instructor is a real hard nosed woman and only allows 3 absences for the entire 4 months of classes - with a DR's note!!! I just don't see difficult child being at a point in her life to commit to that, no matter what she says. Besides, if she REALLY was committed to the class, she would have had her paperwork completed. It's been sitting on the kitchen counter for MONTHS. I have to keep nagging and she's still not budging. So, it's out of my hands.
  12. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Good for you, Jo. If she really wants to take this class she should be the one arranging for it, you shouldn't have to be nagging her about it. It is hard to imagine that even if she got into the class that she would actually attend without more than 3 absences. I think your plan is a good one.

    I saw my difficult child 1 really buckle down and work for her GED but it was with no prompting from us. At the time she was in a rehab--her GED was the furthest thing from my mind, I didn't even really think about it and I didn't mention it at all to her. She was 17 at the time and decided all on her own that she wanted to get the GED and she was actually named "student of the month" several times and her teachers commented on her being such a wonderful student. I think if I had been nagging at her to get it she would have had no interest.