Therapist said "Never Let the Situation Mean More than the Relationship"


New Member
"Never Let the Situation Mean More than the Relationship"

UGH. These words once gave me the strength to endure what I thought then were trying times with daughter. Ha! Little did I know. Now, I want to kick these words in their stupid word teeth. And at the same time, I really miss the feeling of certain hope they once gave me.

Before the real sh*t hit the fan (Are we allowed to cuss here? because I reeeeeally want to ..a whole lot these days), this past summer, the daughter's therapist (for some anxiety and mild depression), gave me this little gem of a quote and told me to hold on to the fact that in a few years, daughter will emerge from her teenage chrysalis having blossomed into a beautiful young adult butterfly with all her senses and logic and personality transformed. Ok, so she didn't use those words exactly but something to that effect. She did talk to me about the science of the teenage brain. Fascinating. I felt educated. And she told me not to worry, daughter was a smart kid, she was "on the right path" and I was "doing the right things" (phew!) ...and that everything would be ok. She reassured me with references of her own daughters teen issues and how with time and patience and a tiny touch of Prozac, her child made it thru these tough teen years ...and now poof! - now they are besties. Boy, did I want that! #RelationshipGoals! And all of this, at the time, made sense, so I felt prepared and ready to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm of the typical teen...and I completely trusted that I'd see that butterfly someday.

...Then, in November, when daughter was hospitalized the first time, after getting caught taking pills from our bathroom and then threatening suicide...the hospital with my permission of course, informed the therapist about daughter's condition and treatment and also about her admitted drug use.

...And the day daughter was being discharged and needed a follow-up care plan in place, the therapist - with all the right answers and the bestower of parental hope - totally dumped us - over the phone - as I sat in my car in the hospital parking garage. She said she "just didn't treat teens with drug problems because its too tricky with all the lies and..." [and honestly here's where the memory of our phone conversation fades into the abyss as I honestly have no idea what she said next - I was completely stunned.] But you know what!? Knowing what I know now, I do not blame this therapist one tiny bit because she was SOOOOO RIGHT! It's reeeeallly f'n tricky and there are a whole hell of a lot of lies...many of which I've told myself along the way.

So fast forward thru the pain, the heartache, the stress and the total life disruption of 2 hospital stays for suicidal ideation, two stints in Partial Hospital Program, one in Intensive Outpatient where all the while we were at her side every step, feeling responsible, feeling terrified...and her seeming like she wanted to be better and saying sorrys and lots of I love you's... to this weekend's drunken episode and yesterdays intake appointment at an outpatient addiction treatment center...and the moment the husband and I have finally come to terms with just how clueless we have been and how much we didn't know about our 15 year old daughter - like where she was, who she was with, or what she was doing... And finally, to tonight, when daughter, stone-cold-sober now because she has been on total lock-down here at home since Saturday night, told me that she simply "doesn't care anymore because she just. doesn't. like. me." Wait! Whaaat?? SHE doesn't like ME? HMMPF! ME?! I did not respond...I won't let her know what her words can do anymore. But here, in my silence, all I can think of is that quote from the therapist, running thru my head... THE RELATIONSHIP. And even after everything, after reading all the hateful thing's she's written about me from her now confiscated cellphone, after seeing my strong husband break down and cry over her, after hearing her scream at us in drunken/drug induced fits of rage that she hates us, that we make her want to kill herself, that our house is toxic to her and she will runaway - and to tonight --calm, cold and unprovoked -- she casually says she doesn't care because she doesn't like me... Still...I care. And still I hope to see that butterfly and to someday have that damn RELATIONSHIP again. ...Someday.


Im so happy to have found this group and for the outlet to vent to those who know where I'm at. Thank you for reading. <3


Well-Known Member
If she is still just fifteen and this isn't years later she is very young and her future is up for grabs. A lot of teens don't like their parents. This is the least of your problems.

I think the therapist was unhelpful. Because of mental health.issue, I have had many psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists. Therapists have the lowest level of training. For diagnostic purposes a psychiatrist has the most training. In any case, like all professionals, some are better than others.

This therapist used an approach of being lenient and having hope, which is not what I would have wanted. I would have wanted concrete steps to take and support for me as I went through this. In my day, if I didn't connect with a mental health professional, or she wasn't meeting my needs, I moved on quickly. Not all mental health professionals are unable to help. I don't think this one gave you any tools to work with.

All teens have teen brains. Not all teens are drug users, disrespectful or not interested in the future. Some are delightful. I have four kids and my youngest two were fun fun teens. One took drugs (fortunately quit years ago) and one was and still is very hard and he's 39 not 13.

I hope you find better help for you and daughter. Ask people which mental health professionals they saw that helped. Do not assume all are the same. One bad experience is about that one therapist, not all. Your kid is young enough to help. There are no guarantees but there are steps you can do to give her a better chance. Sounds like the drugs screw with her head. Demonboy is awful. Is he 18? If so you can get a restraining order against him.

Hugs and keep looking for help. Don't personalize what a troubled 15 year old tells you. You are trying to stop her from doing bad things so she is ticked off and not feeling the love right now. But we are the adults. Until they are legal, we still try. Then its up to them.
Last edited:


Well-Known Member

Just one quick question...who gets to take the Prozax? The teen or the mom? While waiting for the pretty butterfly to emerge, I am mostly cocooning, fearful to do anything, trying to keep everything from imploding. My world gets smaller and smaller.

We had an appointment with her psychologist yesterday. The psychologist said it was a good session, that she was gaining insight. Several days ago we had the "I hate you" speech, too. Not the lashing out, screaming it because she was grounded, but the cold hard calculating "I hate you and I hate living here with you."

It's like winning the battle, but losing the war. I keep showing up for battle. With a quiet voice. But, when she is not a minor, something will have to change. I will not continue to battle for her. She will have to do it. I wish there was an option for us... We have even spoken to an attorney. We adopted. The state made it a private adoption and did not give us the traditional adoption packet for a child from foster care. They lost all benefits that other adoptees receive. Insurance. Monthly stipend for extra care, etc.

This is terrible to go thru. Get help for you. It's as important as getting help for her.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I just read your signature... You added 3 children from foster care to your family. Have you considered if this has any bearing on your daughters behavior?

I only ask because we adopted out two granddaughters. The older had lots of mood disturbances growing up, especially from about age 12. I think we had our hands full and didn't realize our younger was having her own issues. But since she was quiet, we did not realize she was struggling. It's hard to when one child is over the top emotional...and the other seemed to enjoy reading books and excelled at school.

After younger daughter got involved with her boyfriend from H...ell; she with drew from us. She said he pretty much isolated her from friends and family. And tried to make us the reason she couldn't see him. At least not 24/7! He wanted her to be at his beck and call at the drop of a hat. She s now realizing this, but hard to cut loose, she lets him draw her back in. He gave her the attention that she desperately wanted.

I hope your family gets the help it needs.



Well-Known Member
So sorry for your and your husband's pain, MM.


Isn't that nice and professional of the other therapist to hold herself out as a shining example of how to navigate turbulent waters.

And how nice of her to bail on you, once she found out how deep the water was.

Situation vs. relationship...I think a lot of us struggle with that, even those of us who have been at this for awhile.

There is typical teenage stuff, then there is the stuff that started when they were teenagers and goes on for the next 5, 10, 20 years, to the point where it can no longer be called a "situation."

But your daughter is young. I agree, her "hating" you and "not liking you" means that you are not giving her what she wants, which is to be left alone to go off the rails. You are being good parents, and she doesn't want good parents right now.

I ditto what SWOT said about therapists. Keep looking until you find one that pushes you (or daughter) the right distance out of your comfort zone, if that makes sense.

Oh, and by the way, you can really write!


Well-Known Member
I have a bad habit of sometimes only reading half a post before responding.

It was unprofessional and amateurish of this so called therapist to dump you, although she wasn't helping and so probably doing you a favor. If she can't handle drug problems she probably should not see teenagers. That is a major reason parents seek out therapists for their teens.

Even so, don't give up on finding productive help. I'd go the next ring up and have her see a female psychologist, young enough for her to relate to, who has a good reputation in the community. Ask around. Don't just pick the first one whose name you see.

Keep us posted. We all care.


What he__, you have been through. Drugs, mental illness combined with the teen years are the worse. Been there...still living with uncertainty!

Then reAlizing how naive we have been....we all do what we can with what we have. For one, no therapist can make promises??? There are ones with addiction...and some can really see through her lies.

Keep posting...we r here


Roll With It
I won't ever forget calmly and quietly telling my mother that I hated her. Her response? "Good. I am doing something right. You are a teen and are supposed to hate me. You got into trouble. You are supposed to be mad at me and think you hate me. Go do your homework. Now."

I remembered that when I had kids. When they told me they hated me, it hurt. But they were kids and I was the adult. I didn't let it wound me mortally because they were kids. Your daughter is even worse off - a drug addicted mentally ill teen. It cannot get much worse. She really wants to hurt you because she NEEDS you so much and is so afraid you will leave her but it will hurt so much if you do so she will push you away first. No, none of that makes any sense, but it is teenage sense, not real sense.

Please follow what SWOT said and find a GOOD psychologist who specializes in treating teen girls with drug problems. I promise they are out there. I know EXACTLY who I would send you to in my community! It won't be easy, but you can get through this.

Please also go to alanon or narcanon, even if your teen won't ever go. It means at first going to meetings at different times and places until you find the right time and place for you. The right time and place for you might not be right for your husband. I know early in our marriage when my husband and I went to deal with the alcoholism in our parents and siblings, we did NOT like the same meetings, so we went separately. It was actually good that we went to some meeting separately and some together though.


New Member
Thank you all. I was a bit of a handful at her age - and I remember "hating" my parents. I remember having a smart mouth, rolling eyes constantly, slamming my bedroom door... My eldest two went through that stage for sure...and sometimes still...That's all pretty typical. The waters we are treading now with DD3 with the drugs, alcohol, abusive boyfriend, constant lying etc. reckless behavior ...not so typical. Last night, I was just reflecting on all we have been through in 3 short months and the absurdity of HER saying she doesn't like ME? Oh Yeah? Well, guess what Honey? I'm not so crazy about you either right now! (...But I love you more than my next breath.)

This journey is a such a roller coaster of emotion - guilt, fear, anger, grief, sadness and hope... I feel like I visit each of these emotions daily...sometimes hourly. I'm dizzy and nauseous from this ride. Can it please just stop so I can unbuckle and exit safely to my right?

We have started with a new therapist Monday. We did the intake appointment so far. This practice offers treatment focused on dual diagnosis approach for mental health and drug abuse, and the therapist we are with specializes in adolescent addiction. I pray this one is the right one for us. See! There's that dang HOPE again. So yeah, I'll keep hanging on.

@ksm - Yes, absolutely, adding the 3 kids had an effect on daughter. No doubt about it. She was simply displaced - ripped from being the baby of our tiny 2 kid family to being the middle child of 5 over night. When the 3 kids joined us, 2 were still in diapers and the eldest (10 at the time) was undiagnosed ADHD with attachment issues - they demanded a lot of attention and we recognized what this meant for daughter. We did our best to work through this with her. We've always been a solid family with close relationships with one another. But we saw where she was at and we consciously gave her extra attention and extra special time with each of us as well as had her in counselling for a while as a kid and it really seemed as though she adjusted. Then the puberty years hit...this is prior to all the drug/alcohol stuff, and she started experiencing peer issues (*because tween/teen girls are just plain mean*) and subsequently some anxiety and mild depression. We took her back to counselling at her request and of course again part of what she was working through was the impact of taking on the kids had on her as well as a lot of peer issues she was experiencing at that time. The peer stuff seemed to be what she needed to work through most at this time. And this year, at 15, she started the new school and got a lot of attention being the new girl and caught the eye of the senior boy (I call him DemonBoy) with the bad attitude and drug problem...and here we are 3 months later with an entirely different daughter than we thought we started the school year with. Now in counselling we are definitely going to be focusing on the drug/alcohol use, but what the underlying cause is as well as the obvious self-esteem issues. The real daughter is in there...just under the surface. We are going to do our best to find her and get her back.


Well-Known Member
Just as a more pleasant topic...We have a lot in common maybe

We adopted kids too, and we love animals, especially dogs. Seven dogs,.Awesome! You live on a farm? !Y two little dogs are our children now, since mine are grown, and they are in my avatar.

Bless your kind heart toward children and animals. Don't let this hopefully short episode with daughter let you forget your kindness. Your daughter will appreciate you too I believe. She is just being fifteen, a hard age under the best of circumstances. After I made my daughter leave due to drugs she screamed,"I will hate you forever!": ,I cried for three weeks but stuck to my guns.

Daughter quit using drugs, including cigarettes, and we are close. Today she and her little girl and boyfriend of 12 years only eat organic food and she doesn't even like to take Tylenol. She is 33. They can change drastically for the better. She had a Demonboy once too. I kid you not, he was called Dice! He scared me! Dice??? Dice ended up in jail long after daughter had dumped her drug friends. And she had also become involved in drugs after starting a new school. So I get it.
Last edited: