To parents of older difficult children


New Member
Do you like the person your older difficult child has become?

I have been thinking about this in relation to my own for a couple of days now. The thread on the watercooler about the good attributes of difficult child's got me to thinking about it even more.

My daughter had almost all of those good qualities until she hit about 17. She was in a lot of ways a perfect child.She was so loving and compassionate she brought tears to the eyes. Then it's like she changed over night. I think a lot of it had to do with the school here. We had ALOT of trouble with them. We had to get a lawyer at one point and that was when things really started going to h*** in a hand basket. After awhile she just quit even trying to please them. Not just accademiaitaly but socially as well.

She went from a bright, compassionate, loving girl that loved everyone and everyone loved and wanted to be around to someone nobody really wanted to even deal with at all.

She used to have a heart of gold now she seems to have a heart on stone. I always wonder how someone can change that much.

I love her with all my heart but I don't like her most of the time. This leaves an empty feeling inside me that is almost unbearable at times. I can't hardly bare to look at pictures of her in different stages of her life. I keep waiting for that other girl to come home but know she never will. This makes me so incredibly sad.

After all is said and done, do you like your child? We all love them or we wouldn't be here for them but do you like the person they have become?



New Member
I love my difficult child, but I can say I dont like anything about him. His issues no matter what age he was or is, becomes mine personally esp. when he lies and steals from us. When I hear he is to lazy to work, and does not treat his wife nicely at times.

I have a easy child daughter that in so many ways has become a difficult child in the last year. Definitely noticable after being married for a yr. She is in the service now and she knows that I dont like what has become of her since joining it. I didnt tell her this, she just figured out for herself, adn commented on it.



New Member
I actively disliked my daughter from ages 13-16. There was nothing lovable about her -- she was mean, lied, stole, cut school, had temper tantrums, was violent. It reached the point where I had no choice but to send her to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). There was some improvement, but not a lot when she returned.

At 18, she was slightly more human but not much. At 20, she is turning into a person I truly like! I am proud to call her my friend, something I never did when she was younger -- I firmly believe that kids needs parents, not friends when they are younger. At 16, I envisioned loving her always but doubted I would ever truly like her as a person. I am so glad I was wrong!

She's not perfect and she can be downright nasty at times but so can I. I still want to run away when she's PMSing or is hungry or tired. She still has a tremendous sense of entitlement but I'm beginning to think that's a generational thing. I see it in so many kids and so many complaints from parents. AND I TRULY HATE THAT!

So, yes, they can become likable. It may take a small miracle but some of our kids do become human, someone to be proud of, someone to be grateful for.
I had to think awhile before I posted to this thread.

I love Copper. I don't dislike her, but there is not a whole lot to like about her. Right now. I don't like a lot of the choices that she is making. However, if I look at the big picture, she is doing pretty well, and I am proud of her.

I am fairly embarrassed that I am so wishy washy at how I feel about her. It's so...nondescript.


New Member
I love my son with all my heart....I don't like the choices he makes.

As I posted in the watercooler, I lost him when he turned to drugs. I don't even see the same person now.

I keep hope that one day the son I love will return..

When you are dealing with a difficult child that is abusing drugs....your child is not there anymore...



Well-Known Member
Staff member
I can honestly say that I did not like my difficult child during the bad years. I yearned for the time when she would move out and we would have some peace back in our lives.

Well, she did move out (twice) and things did get better. She's twenty-two now and living on her own and has gone back to college. Our relationship has greatly improved and I enjoy spending time with her. She said to me recently that she thought that our relationship had really improved and that it was like we were friends now.

That brought tears to my eyes.

Yes, it does get better. Hang in there.



i love my 18yr difficult child, because she is my child but i do not like her. she has caused many yrs or stress, hurt and resentment in our family.

i have mourned the loss of her several years ago coz i know she will never change. i too... look at pictures of her when she was young.. she isnt that person anymore. its very sad...

and i wonder why God gave us these children.. i keep telling myself we were picked to be these childrens parents coz we are stronger and we can handle the hurt and pain thats goes along with having a difficult child.


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hearthope</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

When you are dealing with a difficult child that is abusing drugs....your child is not there anymore...


so very true


Active Member
I like the inner ant but I dont like his life:
he lies constantly til you dont ever know the truth.
he is a womanizer and throws them out like garbage.
he scams people for money
he owes money and he has no intention of paying it
he smiles but behind the smile his mind is thinking how much he hates you.

I dont like who he has become. now and then I see lil ant in there, hugging laughing, funny as heck. he would give you his last dime. he hugs people who cry.

he is a mixed soul. I would not want to hang out with him.

scent of cedar

New Member
I agree with HH. Until I got that part, that the person who looks like my son is not him, I spent so much time being befuddled. (Rolling my eyes at my own foolishness, here.) I just couldn't believe what was happening kept happening. Somewhere in the heart of me, I love my son so much I never really made a separation from him.

But, like HH says, there isn't anyone there, in that place where I used to know I loved him.

I don't consciously KNOW I love my daughter or grandchildren, either. I just feel more complete when I can touch and see and talk to them, and they make me happy.

That is how it felt to parent my son, once upon a time.

Now, where he used to be, there is a dark, truncated spot.

It feels like we never got to know the end of that story.

Like opening this really good book and finding that it ends in the early middle.

I think it has to do with trust.

On some level, I am aware now that difficult child will do whatever is necessary to ~ I don't know. Come out on top, I guess? HE does not seem to love us. He certainly doesn't believe in or cherish us.

And it's like, once I understood that, it was easier for me.

It makes me very sad that this is so ~ but where I am now is so much better a place than where I spent all those desperate years trying to save difficult child.

What a depressing post!

So much better than it used to be, though.



I didn't like difficult child 1 from about the ages of 13-18. She lied, she ran off, was promiscuous, stole from us, was mean to her sister, just really was not very likeable. I do like her now that she is 19 and responsible for herself. I don't know if she still lies, don't know what her lifestyle is (other than she works as a stripper) but I am able to have fun with her when I see her and enjoy talking to her. She is smart, has a great sense of humor and is seemingly empathetic. She is always very sweet to me now and there is no reason--she isn't trying to get something from me. So, I would say there is hope as they mature! I do like my other 2 kids--have only disliked them for short periods of time, not years!


New Member
This is really, really long but I need to say it.

I think alot of the problems here stem from DHs attitude. In my eyes she has pretty much turned into a typical 22yr old female. I did the same kinds of things she is doing when I was her age and I was considered a decent responsible person in most ppls eyes. husband on the other hand was h*** on wheels and pretty much stayed that way well into his 30s. I guess he forgot about all that.

Anyone here that knows my story knows how far she has come in the past year or so. She went from a pretty much homeless druggie in an extremely abusive relationship, jobless, futureless bum to someone with a much brighter future.

She now has a good job, new car (she got the loan herself) nice boyfriend, and has been off meth for over a year now and she pays her own bills. Granted she is still a difficult child but she is making progress and I am very proud of her.

husband on the other hand, treated her better when her life was such a mess. Maybe it was because every time she walked out the door he had to worry about the phone call.

Don't get me wrong he still helps her out and loves her dearly. The problem seems to be that he expects her to appreciate it so much she becomes a problem free perfect person. I don't know of anyone I can say that about but that seems to be exactly what he does expect.

I am to the point where I wish he would just stop doing anything for her no matter how small it is because it just gives him something else to grip about. If she doesnt do everything exactly how he tells her it should be done he gets over the top angry about it and threatens to completely disown her. He includes me in this decision but do I have news for him. He will not tell me what kind of relationship I am allowed to have with my child.

It's not even that I disagree with a lot of his complaints. I agree with most of them. But even the minor things send him into a massive fit.

A couple of days ago he was having one of his usual grip fests and I told him I just want her to pay us the money she owes us (yes she has been paying) and then I want her to move out. He got mad about me saying that. He doesnt want her to leave.

I on the other hand think it's time for her to take that next step. I love her to death and would keep her here forever but it's not healthy for her. They all need to fly at some point and I think she is ready to give it a shot and see how it goes. She also wants to leave but doesnt want to hurt husband.

I know how much all the above is completely contradicting it's self if that makes any since at all. But in defence of husband, he wasnt always like this. Just the past year of so. He had a serious injury and is on pain management so both easy child/difficult child and I take this into consideration. But it is just so hard.

She got off work early today and I told her how I have been filling about our relationship. She told me she fills the same way and really misses the way it used be. I always thought she did but it doesnt get the chance to get vocalised like it should.

She has gotten a lot like me. Wondering what it's going to be today and do I really want to even go home. She is defensive and hostile most of the time and thinking about it I guess I can understand why. She told me she is hoping to be able to start looking for her own place in a few weeks. Then she kissed me and told me she loves me and husband more then anything and that our relationship is separate in her eyes then her relationship with husband. She seems to understand what is going on with dad better then I thought she did. Another sign of maturing?

We will see what tonight brings :frown: *sigh*

Sorry it's so long and thank you for reading it. I feel so much better now.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Travis had some bad years between 13 and 16. It was awfully hard to "like" him during that time frame, at least alot of the time. Nichole's really bad years were 14-17, and most certainly I had a difficult time liking her through most of it. But then, I had the same problem (maybe not to the same degree) with easy child ages 15-17.

So I've looked back on it and wondered if perhaps it isn't some of natural thing, just with difficult children it can go way over the top.

I can say I do like all three of my kids as well as love them dearly. Age and maturity has made a huge difference for them all.



Active Member
What an honest question. One that I have thought about and answered and felt much shame for my feelings. I do love and care about my difficult child daughter very much, but I don't like her at all. We mix like oil and water. If I were to run into a person like her on the street, I'd run away fast! Her personality just consumes you. I think it's horrible that a mother would feel this way about her child, but it's my honest truth.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I really struggle with this, with my Oldest. There are days I like her, but other days when I cringe when I hear "her ring" on my cellphone. She's just so ... vampire-like. She can :censored2: the energy right out of me sometimes. A visit from her is draining. I make jokes about my "crazy daughter," which really isn't very funny I suppose, but it's the only way to deal with explaining her behavior to others sometimes.

Someone (maybe here?) advised me years ago to embrace the GOOD things about Oldest when I'm feeling especially negative. That really does help.

Two weeks ago she was hospitalized for migraines, until they figured out she was actually drug-seeking, and she began screaming at the nurses for more pain medications. She signed herself out Against Medical Advice when they tried to transfer her to the psychiatric unit.

I just don't think she'll ever get well, to be honest with you. And that really saddens me.
All of you give me hope.difficult child is 17.I love her,but hate the choices she makes in life.When she was born she was the 1st grandchild on both sides.Everyone thought she walked on water.She also was a beautiful baby .People would stop me to tell me she should be a baby model.She is still beautiful but full of anger and hate inside.I also hate what she does to easy child,her father and me.


New Member
I have always loved my difficult child with all my heart, but when he was an active drug addict I didn't like him at all.

Now that he is almost one year clean I like him again. Many of the things I liked about him before he was a drug addict have come shining through again.

I hope all of you can experience that feeling one day because I know there was a time that I never thought that was possible.


My difficult child is 19 and I can say that I both love her and like her. But that's now. Between the ages of 13-16, I was counting the years/months/days before I could get her out of my house.

She stole from me and shoplifted, became sexually active, skipped classes, was expelled, was still a freshman when she should have been a junior, attempted suicide, self-mutilated (cutter), ran away, associated with criminals, was involved with policy activity and made my life miserable.

I never stopped trying to help her; but I accepted that I might not be able to help her.

Once when I posted on this board after something terrible happened, I said that she was flushing her life down the toilet and that my life was going down too. A couple of people replied that I had to live my own life, even if my difficult child was destroying hers. They were right.

Now she attends community college, works part time and lives at home. She wants to transfer to a 4 year college within the next 2 years and live in a college dorm.

Although it took a tremendous effort to get to this point, the origin of it came from my difficult child. When she decided to change her life, that's when it happened.


Active Member
My difficult child 2 has a totally different personality than difficult child 1. I like who difficult child 2 is and enjoy being around him.

I would not choose to be around difficult child 1 if I didn't have to.

Need I say more?

Marcie Mac

Just Plain Ole Tired
I came to the realization not too long ago that I really don't like the person my eldest turned into. Nothing like living with someone for year who is now inching up to 40, and the last time you lived with them they were 19, for a real eye opener. It was constant over the top drama and I was constantly getting worked up and sucked in.

Youngest difficult child, I have to say that 95% of the time, I like him. He is always making me laugh with his off the wall sense of humor, and he is kind hearted under that gangsta veneer he wears around which, as he is aging, is gradually fading away.