Thoroughly Frustrated!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Tiapet, May 8, 2010.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    My middle difficult child has got me to my wits end!

    Let me start by saying we have no clear diagnosis at this point for her beyond ADHD-inattentive and ODD. We have tossed around BiPolar (BP), Autism spectrum, attachment issues (not sure why on that one) and various others. Nothing is there. Currently she is being seen by a pediatric development specialist who has just added another doctor who will prescribed "layered" medications. Simple way to say she won't do the antipscyhotics or mood stabilizers and such. She will only do the simpler medications.

    We've already been through several psychiatrists in this state and another as well as tdocs. We've gone through countless therapists, mobile therapists, TSS workers, etc... This child has been unreachable in every sense of the manner. One therapist spend 2 years with her weekly and threw up her hands and said she could do not more. It's like a brick wall, same thing with someone else that worked with her for 18 months.

    That is the shortened version of it all. We're down to this.....
    Does she get it? If she does does she even care? We don't know if she cognitively processes things exactly. She's had all the testing you can have (and that I know of). Her test scores come back relatively ok. She does show a deficit in memory area a little. You could tell her something and then it's gone (short term). But it also "appears" to happen with some long term stuff (or are we kidding ourselves?).

    For example, in math she is really bad and not actually on grade level. I mean she is on some things but not in all areas of it. She will do a math problem but forget how to do it or do it completely different then what she was taught (and fight us tooth and nail that "that's not the way you do it-or the way she was taught, even though it is"). Or, in general areas of life she refuses to comply with anything or learn (this is where we are most confused).

    You know when you teach a child something in life they say it takes a thousand times before they learn it (like a behavior)? Well, in this case it's like she has never or will never learn it as well as if there is a consequence it doesn't matter either! (no matter what it is even if it's something we know DOES matter to her a lot) We've tried positive rewards, ignoring things, redirection, charts, etc... you name it we have tried it and then some. Everything anyone has ever suggested we've done and nothing works at all.

    Here is another example, stranger danger. She is about to turn 13. She has been taught this over and over and over again. She doesn't get it, doesn't care? You name it she will do all kinds of things that are dangerous as far as stranger danger are concerned. This whole situation with her is like dealing with an MR child who is not showing up as such on the testing!!?

    Some of the other things she does, lies a lot! Manipulates so intensely that many don't even know she's doing it because she is so charming and sweet to them. Her one teacher years back, once I spoke to her, found out how she was being manipulated in many ways. She stated "she manipulates at an adult level". She was only 7 years old at the time. :( She steals. She will steal from her older sister then me, then her younger brother. What she takes often makes no sense because it is anything at all. Things she has no use for other times it is. A couple of examples, her sister school ID from last year, her sisters belt that in no way would fit her and she took THAT to school! Why??? Have no clue. She hasn't stolen from a store, yet. She has stolen things from other kids in school and come home and said so and so gave it to me. I've had to alert teachers to this fact every year (which is soooo embarrassing). She majorly steals food, hoards it at times, hides it everywhere and anywhere. We've had to take many things away from her because she's used them for hiding spaces (like her dresser-in with clothes-sandwiches rotting). She puts food under her pillow, under the bathroom vanity (she knows we go through and find all this all the time too). There was a time she had a PB&J sandwich munched into the carpet between her mattress and the floor (we had to take frame away because she was hiding it under bed). She has stolen canned goods and opened and eaten them. 10x sugar, ketchup, boxes of cake mix, jello. The list would go on and on and on and the worst part......she broke into things to get at this because we have had to go full lock down of pantry closet, extra closet, refrig because of the stealing. She still finds ways to get it! She has destroyed things to get in. Short of a keyed lock, it's the only way to keep her out at this point and out bedroom door has one of them on it but you know what?......she knows the SECOND that door is accidently left unlocked for a moment and sneaks in there too and steals! It's crazy!

    This has slowing been mushrooming in intensity for about 5 years now. In the beginning we didn't notice all that we do now. I think because she was so much younger and on many levels she wasn't as accountable for different things (like level of academic work) or able to do other things that kids naturally progress to doing in their age. Now we have her foul language and mouth, attitude (about almost 2 years of that) and sometimes violence too (mostly towards her brother but she will take on her 18yo sister who is 5'11" and 140lbs and think nothing of it!

    I am confined due to health. There is not much I can do and basically I'm "stuck" to sitting and have to rely on others now (I hate it!). She will say things to me like "get off your fat lazy ass and ......" when she needs to find something of hers like clothing to wear or she can't find something in general. Or "I wish you were dead" (which she knows is a very REAL possibility as I was given 5 yrs-6 years ago now). She will say she wishes others were dead too. She also wishes everyone were gone so that she can do what she wants. It's like she really lives in a fantasy world of her own and she is the queen of it. Invincible as well. There is no psychosis, so they tell me (are they for real? have they lived what we do?) She never shows much of this to anyone outside of house beyond the mouth to her brother. She ones took a hard, quick edge with me at the doctor and doctor took notice so I'm not fighting a losing battle on them believing me, they do thank god!

    So my point, thank you for reading all this, is this.....

    We've had to keep her in more often then not because she won't comply with checking in when she goes out in the neighborhood (subdivision). She is never where she says she is. When it's time to come in more often then not she doesn't but she is usually late by an hour.

    Two weeks ago she pulled that but was not in an hour late after not checking in at her 2 hour check in (must check in every two hours). Instead she waltz in at 10P! Rule has always been, streetlights come on, you come in irregardless of any other rule, you call when you change places you're at or to check in. She did none of it. I didn't call the cops. The reason? About 6 months ago she had done something similiar but the variation to it was that she was seen by some neighborhood kids and they told us and also tried to get her. They ended up chasing her all around, including through the woods (which isn't normal for her). I began to worry that something had happened since she was avoiding them. I called cops. Cops took all information but also made me feel like dirt because I couldn't give them MORE information such ALL the kids names she knew (she goes to so many people's houses wandering that we don't know and try to keep up but it seems there is always new people she "meets" that have moved in somewhere or in next division (we're small) where there are apartments. The cops wanted to know why we didn't know so much more quicker, sooner. Well we do keep tabs on her with the check ins as much as we humanly can other then keeping her in.

    Anyway, as soon as cops left to start looking for her in next subdivision as we suspected that to be the most likely place she was, wouldn't you know, little miss difficult child comes strolling out from behind the house across the street and walks across the street home!!! Mind you neither house across the street are people that have kids for her so she was just sitting there hiding, waiting, and watching. Calculating???

    I didn't want a repeat of that scenerio again so I waited it out the last time and sure enough, she came home, with an attitude as if it didn't matter what she did at all! I told her she was grounded for a long time. The ONLY reason I let her out today is that the realty company that runs this house (we rent) had the mortgage company guy company to appraise it since the owner is being foreclosed on. If she was here she would be starting something and/or getting in their way on top of them and being a pest as she can be and it would be a bad situation overall. So I relented and let her go out (supposedly) to the girls house 4 doors down to play. She was to check in at 2.

    Here we go again! No check in, she's not there nor is she at anyone's house that WE know of her friends. So who is this new person yet again?

    I really don't know how much more I can take of this. I keep saying it but taking more. It hurts because I don't know it she's willful or if this is otherwise and no one has been able to answer me on it or prove it.

    Thanks for listening.

    (thanks Star for listening all the other times and for reminding me where my home is for support)
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Just one small suggestion to a very very large problem. You mentioned that she is manipulative. There is a book titled, "The Manipulative Child". I love love love it. I read it a couple years ago and wish I had it when DIVA was about 5. I my opinion, it is targeted to start the steps to manage the manipulation when the child is about 7 - 8 years old but the suggestions can be implemented at any age. What it did for me was to give me confidence to recognize the manipulation and strength to keep from falling into it. I did use the suggestion on my very disrespectful Diva when she was an older teen.

    difficult child has a friend who is becoming very manipulative of his mother. I had an incident with him that I specifically told him NOT to tell his mother that I was o.k. with something. So, he turned it around and asked his mom, "If Andy says it is o.k., can we get this?" I confronted him on it and asked him why he did that. I explained that what he did was still what I specifically told him NOT to do. It was his mom's duty to give the answer she wanted without my interferring (I had not told him I was o.k. with it, by the way). He answered that he knew that was the quickest way to get what HE wanted. That is the bottom line of manipulation. The kid has figured out which buttons (and in which order) to push to get what he/she wants.

    This book will show you how not to fall into that trap. It is hard work to stay strong and not give in out of habit, frustration, ect. but once you know what you want the outcome to be, it will be easier to stand your ground.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    We are definitely your family. We have your kids' cousins! I'm really sorry that your health is so bad and you're having to deal with all this difficult child stuff. It is so hard. I pray daily for the strength to step up to the plate and be strong enough, to press past my battle fatigue and utter exhaustion and be willing to go to the mat when it matters. Luckily I do pick my battles but I have to be careful not to let them all go (ya know?).

    I hope your SO is there to double team her on this stuff. It's too much for one person. Please let us know when she comes home.

    We are always here to listen and support and empathize. Star is right! You come here when you need to vent.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In all seriouness, since you aren't sure if she grasps what is right or wrong or perhaps she grasps the concept, but still cant' do it...I'd take her to a neuropsychologist. Even if she's gone to one before, she is older now and it is easier to figure out what is going on once they get older. If she seems rather clueless you may consider the autism spectrum, but again the best way to find out is by neuropsychologist testing. They do 6-10 hours of intensive testing in all areas, unlike just talking and making a diagnosis. based on what we say and what the child does during the appointment (which often doesn't even scratch the surface). medications may not be the answer at all. And certain medications make problems worse.

    I hope things get better for you and good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The habitual stealing and hiding and eating foods that people do not normally eat out of the package, is very disturbing. I see that as very strong indications that something is going on here. It is also not common for a 12 year old to have had a mouth for 2 years and be so disrespectful of curfews. Kids this age do start to push some of the boundary issues but usually not so strongly.

    I hope you can find a doctor, or psychiatrist who can put these pieces together to help her. I know it can be so frustrating to come to so many blocks in the road in your search for answers. Keep at it - stay strong!

    Don't be embarrassed to tell the teachers anything. You are protecting everyone in doing so. They have the right to know and since they do know, they can be part of the team to help monitor that behavior. I just hope there will not be a teacher that will automatically accuse your child because of this info. One time I did blow at a substitute teacher because a year after my son's behavior issues, she would not believe what he said and told him, "Welll, you have a history of doing this." She obviously didn't know the meaning of history, as in the past. difficult child was past that behavior and would not lie. difficult child had come home and said, "Mom, why is she treating me like I am still doing things? I have changed - why can't people give me a chance to prove it?"

    I think she may be scared of what her future holds. She is afraid of your illness and is trying to put on a strong front - figuring out how to take care of herself before she really looses the person who takes care of her. Building a wall around her so life's cruelty can not touch her.

    You do however, have to find a way to figure out what she is up to when she leaves the house. Does she have access to a computer? My Space is a very dangerous place for her to hook up with the wrong people. My Diva had no end of friends who would assure her that I was the horrid evil parent that she portrayed and that she had every right to live as she wanted to. With friends backing up her every move, it makes it easier to become more disrespectful. I am fortunate that my Diva has not fallen into danger over this, but preditors are quick to find these kids who are trying to fend for themselves and show disrespect to parents. They will lure kids away with a promise of the ability to do whatever they want.
  6. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Andy - once upon a year I did read that book and I think I may need to refresh back on it again. It can't hurt at all. Thank you. I do tell the teachers everything now. There once was a time when I wouldn't tell them much at all (for good reasons-there is history there) but now I just don't care and can't. I do get embarrassed as that is a human emotion and I guess I can rid myself of it. :( She is blocked from computer online access at home, we've already had issues with that as well as issues with her using it at the public library so we know there is a problem and don't let her use it there. In school we alerted them and they have blocked her and only allow her access through a special account, if at all and only supervise. Yup, she was having inappropriate contact setting up email account after email account about a year ago- started out using SO email address when logging in somewhere and having verification of adults, then creating her own also send it back to his account. We went into her accounts she created since she was stupid enough to do this and found her conversing with an adult guy from Australia who wanted her to call him and he was repeatedly asking her "why aren't you calling me". He had given his number in email. Thankfully, she never got that one so doesn't know it. We have cell phones. Right now, most of the "friends" she has we know and have restricted her to 2 only that are safe. The rest are trouble and the families don't seem to care what goes on in the houses so she can't be there and hasn't been found to be there or seen there by anyone thankfully. It's the "new" people. I don't know that she is really afraid of me dying. She's never been close to me at all. She was close to her grandmother and even that relationship has turned because she has "turned" on her grandmother as well. She doesn't have many friends in school from what I am told by the SE teacher. She has trouble actually with peers because of her immaturity or way she acts in general. She tends to get picked on a little. At least this is the report back. She is in mainstream with resource. IEP.

    ML - thank you for your kind words. Yes SO majorly helps. He knew what he was getting into when he joined me but never did he envision it this bad. He actually can get a lot tougher when necessary as well. I have mastered detachment and ignoring so that it doesn't affect me in a negative way and harm my health (heartwise) as much as possible. I admit, sometimes it does reach me, it's my child.

    Midwest - the most recent set of testing done on her was 3 days worth (broken up) and it was a neuro. The most they could say is "it doesn't look like" autism but there are points like it as she is high functioning. It's so very confusing. Since we are in NC, there are 2 top medication facilities. We have been with 1 of them and THEY are also the ones stumped currently. Sad.

    So an update. She called at 7. I gave her the run down. Said you know rules, you didn't check in, you can read a clock (she had this new girl from last time on phone-speaker I think- and her sister). There is a phone you could have used earlier. Other girl chimes in she was "locked out of house". I said, no excuse (to my daughter) as there is always people outside in the apartments you can ask them what time it is or better yet, COME HOME like you were suppose to. I also said to her did she like getting her friends in trouble and in trouble with the police because that's what will happen when she doesn't come home like she is suppose to and is missing. The girls in the background got quite. She wanted me to make SO go away cuz I told her he was over there looking or her. I said NO, find him and get home. He couldn't find her, she never came home or was visible to him and he came home and figured she wouldn't so long as he was there. It would be a stand off. At 8 I had him call from his phone (different number then mine) since she wasn't home STILL (it's a 5 minute walk about). Someone answered, not friendly was short and then said she JUST left and hung up. Took her all of maybe 7 minutes to get home!

    ARGH! Her birthday is next week. I always try to do because I want to not based on behavior. I will give the gift but I will NOT be allowing her to take a couple friends rollerskating (have passes). That is above and beyond. Just sad it has to be like this really.
    Last edited: May 8, 2010
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You are doing a fantastic job at keeping up with her as much as humanly possible! Great job in discovering her e-mailing activities and the situation with the Australian guy! You are a very wise warrior mom! :)
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, she just never stops! You must be exhausted.
    She does sound complicated. And I would not rule out autism somewhere in there.
    Don't know what to think about the hoarding. What does she say about it? Is she hungry? Is it food she's not supposed to eat (I would assume cake mix is on the do-not-eat-unless-baked list ;)) or is she afraid there will be no more food tomorrow?
    Having gone through a bit of this myself, I would suggest taking one behavior at a time. It's overwhelming to deal with-it all at once. Right now, you seem most concerned about her not adhering to time limits and not telling you where she is. I had the same issue with-my difficult child but I was mobile and I chased him down from house to house. The neighbors were very nice about it and it was obvious from my repeated queries that there was something going on at our household. :redface:
    We finally turned a corner when two boys moved away (they had awesome computer games, PS2, etc and were totally unsupervised), and I was able to corrall difficult child into playing computer games at someone else's house, where I drove him so I could control his movements.
    I don't know how incapacitated you are, but if you can drive, maybe you can find a mutual friend who has something/someone of interest to your difficult child so you can control her movements, Know what I mean?? You can make it into a fun thing to reward her with.
    One thing I have found is that when I am too negative, which is easy to do!!!, difficult child becomes even more manipulative.
    And yes, the Manipulative Child book is great. I got angry at some parts, but then realized it was because it had hit a nerve. :(

    I'm sending support.
  9. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand


    No one understands the food thing including her. We had thought about prader willi syndrome for a time because she is "always" hungry. She could eat and turn around and want to eat a moment later and we're talking a full meal! We were able to rule that out though. Then they thought is was Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with food. Tried a medication to handle Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). That didn't work at all and there was no other Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) characteristics so that got ruled out. She gets more then enough food so she is not lacking it by any means. At one point we had to cut back on food because she was gaining so much weight between what she was getting (which I didn't like - breakfast, snack at school which school mandated, lunch, snack after school, dinner, then a snack before bed which basically was more to settle due to medication causing hunger) in meals and what she was stealing. I don't like that the school mandates the kids have to have a snack, especially at middle school level! That's ridiculous if you ask me. If you don't supply it do you know that they either have another child share theirs or the teacher/staff provide one to the child because they think you can't afford one? I have it written into her IEP even that she has an eating disorder for the last 3 years and the only compliance I've gotten even a little is through the lunch room. She buys her lunch and they do restrict her to the actual lunch entree, no extras. As to the actual food she's stealing, sometimes it's food that isn't hers, sometimes it's food that you'd use towards a meal or to make something with, sometimes it's normal food that anyone would eat. Examples: she stole candy from her sister that her friend out in CA sent her special from a trip that she had been in Japan (irrecplaceable), she has stolen her brother's food we buy specifically for him because he has food allergies and can only eat certain things, she's eaten pure sugar (taken the big tupperware container of it and mixed cereal in with it instead of just using the everyday sugar bowl), she's taken a bottle of ketchup to her room and eaten the whole bottle, whole loves of bread, whole jars of peanut butter, whole containers of ice cream, cans of spaghettios (that were her sisters for when she has to be on the go - she has her own can's but eats her sisters), special items of food that I've gotten for me and locked in my room because I don't eat many things for a certain reason, soy/almond milk I have because I can't digest regular milk (I always share it with the kids anyway), jars of jelly, bbq sauce, any kind of candy period and especially of her sisters (who hides it in her room and she digs through her dresser/clothes to get it, under her mattress and anywhere else she's hidden it) the list goes on and on. I buy her special items "just for her" so I am in no way buying special things for anyone and leaving her out so it makes no sense at all to me, as in the jealousy factor causing it.

    I am concerned about her being outside yes. As for it being the most concerned thing about her, no. Food actually is the 2nd biggest because I fear for her health at this point and we need to find out why she's doing it. Then everything else. I do actually take things one at a time. I tend to put things in baskets (from the book). Things that are priority, things that can wait and then things that I don't even have to think about. The first focus is on her violent tendencies. That is 1 with any of the difficult child's.

    I'm on to the refresher course on manipulative child and see if there's anything in there that I can remind myself of and help out.

    Thank you for your input! :)
  10. Luvbooks7

    Luvbooks7 Guest


    I feel for you, especailly with the food issues. I have no solutions nor suggestions other than locking up the food. I've done that in my home. I hope you can figure out what's happening with her and I feel like I could have written much of it myself. One of the worst smells is spoiling tuna and vienna sausages.
    I will support you through this and know that people on this list care.