This is all new to me.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Julie Y, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member


    I have recently married. My 15 year old step daughter has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. My 12 year old step daughter has been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, post traumatic stress disorder and depression. My husband got custody of the 12 yo in March. He has always had custody of the 15 yo. The 15 yo has started a new regimine of medication which has made a dramatic difference. However, my troubles are with the 12 yo. I am really hoping this can be a sight where I can learn some things and know I am not losing my mind.

  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Welcome! Glad you found us. When you get a chance please to a profile - it helps us remember everyone.

    What sort of problems are you having with the 12yo?

    How is she in school?
  3. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    Glad you found us!!! This site has helped me so much. There's lots of really wonderful people here!!! WFEN
  4. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Welcome Julie! Who first diagnosed your 12 year old? What types of problems are you having? Is she on medicine? If so, what? Is this a new medication regimine or something she's been on for awhile?

    Sorry for all the questions! I'm sure I've missed a few that will be asked by someone else chiming in.

    Have you heard of the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? I checked it out from the local library when so many here recommended it. It helped me understand my difficult children mind better.

    I'm sorry you're having troubles with her! Right now my youngest difficult child (7 yrs) is my hardest. This is a great site for support! More will be along shortly to welcome you and offer some advice or ask more questions!
  5. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member

    The 12yo is forever fighting with everyone. She purposefully will do the opposite of what is asked of her. She lies and steals constantly. We have to periodically go through her room with her and return personal items to other family members. She tends to get violent with knives and stuff. Has had recent suicide attempt and was hospitalized. She will terrorize the other children to the point my son hides in his room and my other stepdaughter (15yo) will lose control and become violent or act out.

    She does well in school in regards to her grades. However, she has been suspended multiple times for fighting, boys and girls. We took her to the local YMCA at the beginning of summer because she was tormenting the other two children while we were at work. This was a great YMCA program with swimming and games and crafts. She was unable to get along with the other kids. The final day there, she bit a boy because he was playing at the pool table and she wanted it.

    Recently she has shared that she is vomiting her food. She states she is too fat. If we try to help prevent her from vomiting, she will not eat. At her mental health assessment they said they will address it in counseling.

    We have taken her in for a mental health assessment. They cannot get her in for anything else until 10/15/07. I don't know how we are all going to survive it!
  6. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member

    She has only been given Prozac. She was diagnosed at Akron Children's Hospital when she had her suicide attempt. She is now out of them medications (which did not help)and we cannot get anyone to refill them. She used to be on Concerta for ADHD, but the doctor in Akron said she did not need it because she is not ADHD.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Hi Julie Y

    Sounds like much more than ODD going on with the 12 yr old.

    In that there is bipolar in the family tree, this is definately something that may need to be ruled out. Just so you know, stimulants (ADHD medication) and depression medication can cause mega problems in individuals that are actually bipolar.

    In that she's husband has obtained custody of her, chances are good that she's probably got some emotional baggage also.

    Blending families under the best of circumstances is hard. It makes it harder when a special needs child is involved.

    I'd call the mental health assessment people back and ask them to call you for an earlier appointment just in case someone else cancels.

    Glad you found us!
  8. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I'm not terribly familiar with Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and respite care, but have you checked any out?

    Many on here will say that ODD is rarely a stand alone diagnosis. If the docs don't think she has ADHD and bipolar is in the family tree, I would want them to look at this possibility. Sheila is correct about the medications too, stimulants for ADHD and medications for depression can make bipolar worse.

    Give the doctor a call and see if they have a cancellation list to call you just in case they have an opening sooner.

    If she is getting violent with herself or others in the house, call 911. The paramedics can be witness to this and transport her to the local ER for evaluation. You need to be sure you, husband and your other kiddos are safe.
  9. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member

    She has also been diagnosed with PTSD and depression, although the doctor seems to think it is a very mild case. You can tell he doesn't live with her.

    I will give the MH center a call after work and see what I can do.

    Yes she gets violent. My husband had a massive heart attack and had open heart surgery in April, came home in May after 23 days is ICU. Three days after he came home, he asked her why she didn't take the trash out like he asked and she shoved him down. He fell to the ground. It was horrible. THat is just typical of her.

    I feel so horrible, because there are just days that I will do whatever I can to not be around her. I desperately want to bond with her. She needs a mother in her life. I know I can't replace her mother, but I would still like to be there to help her. Her older sister has borderline personality disorder and bipolar and I have a wonderful relationship with her. We have bonded and many times when she (the older sis) starts to lose control, I can talk her down. No matter what I try with Rachel (the 12 yo), Nothing works. She has repeatedly told all of us that she wishes we were dead. Our extended family all thinks we are insane. There are times I am afraid to go to sleep when she is angry with me, because I worry that she will try to kill me in my sleep. We have tried to get help from our local children services. The most I have been able to get is assistance with "protective childcare" and that is only because that is the program I run in the neighboring county. The social service agencies all act like my husband and I are the bad guys.

    Sorry, Idon't mean to go on and on. I don't get a chance to talk about this very often. Can't talk at home. Hardly ever a moment of peace anymore.
  10. Kathie In NY

    Kathie In NY Member

    Welcome.You will get useful info here.I am back after a 4 yr. hiatus.There is a lot of support here.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Generally, when they release a child from a psychiatric hospital a discharge plan is in place so that you have more immediate follow-up appointments. I realize that she was hospitalized in Akron and you live in Bellville (I'm from Lexington, by the way, so I know where Bellville is), but I would think they would have set up services before discharging your step-daughter.

    I agree with ASO, if she becomes dangerous to herself or others call 911. Even if they don't admit her, it may get you into MH sooner than 10/15.

    I would make sure all knives, scissors and valuables are under lock and key. I know that it's hard to live that way, but if you're afraid for your safety, I think it's necessary at this point.

    This is a great place for support. I'm glad you found us.
  12. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I spent many a sleepless night when I thought difficult child 2 was going to do any # of things. In all you are doing for the kids don't forget to find some you time. It is hard and you need to keep your batteries charged.

  13. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    you have gotten some wise words from some of our members. I will just add my welcome. I know you will be happy you stumbled onto this site! It is a great place for advice and sypport.

  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    I think you need to video tape her behavior. If she stops it due to the camera - great! Eventually she will not care if the camera is there and continue on her rage. psychiatrist needs to see this. I think she should be in a residential treatment center (Residential Treatment Center (RTC)) for a number of months. She has a lot to learn and she also needs to get medication stabilization.
  15. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    Great advice from the others. Just wanted to add my welcome. :coffee:

  16. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member

    I really feel Akron left us high and dry. They wanted us to contact the Center in Mansfield. I did that even before she was discharged. They told me someone would call back, but nothing. So, when I picked her up, I set up camp in their lobby until they found someone that would speak with me. That was Aug 3rd. She did not get in for an evaluation until Aug 27. Then last week they finally return our calls and she has another evaluation with a psychiatrist on Oct 15. No one will consider medications. Akron will not renew her Prozac because they said she should have that done by her dr. THe Center won't do it because she still hasn't been seen by the dr.

    Last night was horrible. Their mom called after nothing for 2 weeks. (She won't give them her phone number or address. Says she is homeless)She wanted to pick them up tonight to spend time with them because she misses them. Unfortunately, I work late tonight, and since they cannot be left alone, they are in daycare until I or my husband gets done with work. Well the girls lost it. The older one Becky, eventually calmed down and understood that maybe it can be arranged for another day. But Rachel, 12yo, freaked out. Cussed us out, said we were keeping her from her mother. That is not the case at all. We tried to explain that maybe they could get together another night. But of course we have no way of contacting Mom to make arrangements. I am so tired of being the bad guy. She can waltz in after nothing for weeks and weeks, treat them like dirt and still be the hero. It is not a popularity contest, but I would just like to be treated like a human being with feelings too. My poor husband just doesn't know what to do anymore. He just constantly apologizes.
  17. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    I know it hurts, but it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with the pain they feel from their mother not wanting them. You can NOT take it personally. It is not about you. It is about their feels and emotional well being.

    Not trying to be harsh - but you have to make situations like this completely about them and what is best for them. You will never understand how they feel and they know it.

    Imagine the mother/child bond - broken. How devastating that must be.

    As far as getting help. Start over. Whoever you were going through - forget them. They are not helpful. Find some other route. You do not want them as your team anyway - they are unreliable.

    Who treats the 15yo? And why can't the 12yo use the same doctor?
  18. Julie Y

    Julie Y New Member

    I know. I have tried to talk with them when this happens over and over again. I am able to connect with the 15 yo and help her process her feelings. I have held her when she has cried herself to sleep when her mother hurts her. I can't even imagine what it must be like. The 12 yo won't let me be close to her. She won't give me a chance. I have tried talking with her, but she just screams at me and my husband. Last night was just rough. The 12 yo went into her room and just sobbed and sobbed. It broke my heart. I tried to talk to her, she cussed me out and threw things at me. I tell her all the time that I am here and ready when she is. I guess last night was just hard on everyone. I just don't know how to help the 12 yo. If I just lay low and try not to say much, she screams at me that I don't love her and I don't want her around. If I try to talk to her, she screams at me to leave her alone and she hates me. I know it is all about their feelings. Like I said, I have had conversations with the 15 yo and desperately want that with the 12 yo.

    The 15 yo goes to the same place for help. However, they have yet to schedule her counseling since her suicide attempts this summer. She has seen the psychiatrist and like I said is on a new regime of medicine that has had amazing results. She is doing well in school and we are all communicating much better. She still needs counseling. Actually, I think we are all in desperate need of that.
  19. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Bio-mom needs to have some ground rules set. It's not fair to anyone, especially the kids, for her to just show up (or call, as in this case) out of the blue and expect to see them when it's convenient for her because she decides that she misses them. If she can't stick to a regular visitation schedule because of her housing situation, then she needs to contact you or husband to arrange a visit. She should not be trying to arrange it through the kids. That is so incredibly unfair to everyone involved and hurtful for the kids.

    Regarding the 12 year old, some of that is typical teen (typical teen) behavior in the not being able to please her (either you don't care or she hates you). However, it's probably very magnified by her mental health issues and the change in her living situation. The only advice I can offer here is lots and lots of patience. She feels abandoned by her mother (I'm guessing) yet she still feels loyalty to her mother and allowing you to get close to her would be disloyal. It's not personal. It's a manifestation - symptoms, if you will - of everything she is struggling to deal with. I'm not suggesting that you should allow bad behavior, just try to understand that it's not a personal attack. Easier said than done in the midst of a rage, I know. been there done that.

    I haven't had any personal experience with Richland Co MH, but it doesn't sound like that's going very well. Have you looked into private psychiatrists and therapists? I know that Toledo Children's is supposed to have a really good behavioral health center (in fact Toledo Children's is associated with NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network - and works with PTSD in children). Maybe try contacting them or Columbus Children's to see if they can give you any referrals to anyone in your area.

    Hang in there. It's tough.