Trying to Clarify My Feelings....Opinions Welcome!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, May 16, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    So, I am having a tough time with this one....hoping I can bounce my thoughts off of you to try and clarify how I feel and how I should respond.

    The facts? We are poor. Not quite as bad as we used to be, thanks to DHs new job--but is very, very tight.

    I cannot work outside of the home because difficult child cannot be trusted unsupervised for any time at all. So as much as I would like to contribute to the family income, my hands are tied.

    I have always loved horses...and have worked, ridden or just gone to horse shows whenever I could.

    Last year, I landed a job at a stable down the street. It was (I thought) an ideal situation because I could bring the kids with me. difficult child hated the barn and was so difficult and disruptive about going to the stable that I had to quit after just a few months. I was really disappointed.

    Now, we are seeing a therapist who gave difficult child and opportunity to participate in "equine therapy". After some initial stubborness--difficult child discovered that she loves horses....just not when her mother is around. So difficult child really, really wants to go to equine therapy every week....and really really doesn't want me involved at all. If I'm participating in the program that week--difficult child gets very angry and hateful.

    So what am I feeling upset about?

    The therpaist thinks it would be really beneficial if we bought difficult child her own horse! She feels it would be a great motivator.

    And on the way home from this session....difficult child managed to make a comment about how if anything should ever happen to me, she would use the life insurance money to buy herself a horse.

    This whole thing is just making me sick to my stomache!

    I can't have anything nice and have to struggle paycheck to paycheck because difficult child is so hateful, disruptive and un-cooperative....but now I have to figure out a way for her to earn a HORSE???? The therapist suggested that I encourage difficult child to get a job and sit down and work out a budget with her and help her on the path to horse ownership by starting her with lessons at a stable near our home and taking her to horse shows as often as possible.

    I don't know how to share something I love so much with a person who has no problem explaining how much they hate me and how my death is the key to their happiness.

    The therapist says I need to "accept" that difficult child hates me and not let my own hurt feelings get in the way of doing this for my child.

    What kind of cruel torture is this????


    So you tell me....

    would you be able to sacrifice in order to provide something you yourself would love but cannot have to a person who hates you more than anything in the world?

    I don't know about you--but I don't want to. Am I wrong for feeling this way?

    Opinions welcome...

    (and thanks for listening...)
  2. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    the therapist thinks you should reward your daughter by buying her a HORSE?

    i cant even speak to the way you feel (you are more than entitled to all of your feelings)

    but i will say, in a word--NO. NO i would not buy my daughter a horse on a *whim*, especially the *WHIM* of a therapist.
    even if i was rich.

    what does the therapist think would become of this expensive motivator next month when your daughter loses interest and then needs to be motivated by a mansion in the hills or a corvette.

    i'd tell the therapist that *SHE* is more than welcome to buy my daughter a horse....
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    No way would I buy her a horse. The sense of entitlement only grows when attachment-disordered kids get things.

    The lesson your daughter needs to learn is that at 15, she is well past the age where she gets to act like a brat. She needs to learn to treat you with respect and not for a reward of any kind but because it is the right thing to do. I would also make it VERY CLEAR to her that she is NOT a benefiiary of your life insurance policy.

    That therapist is nuts -- even if she would offer to give your daughter a horse, I would refuse. Your daughter has done nothing to earn the finer things in life.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    You can rent horses. My Gosh that is unfair and rude to suggest you buy a horse when you can't afford one. I'm sure my son would benefit greatly in private school as well but we're figuring out how to keep our house. I'm sorry, that's ridiculous. I believe your feelings are valid.

    As far as her hating you, that's just sort of the part of the scenery on our journey. I know it hurts but you're not alone. We love you!
  5. jal

    jal Member

    I would be outraged by the therapist. Buy a horse for a difficult child that treats me like s**t and on top of it when we are strapped for cash? H*LL NO! I'd encourage difficult child to get a job to help cover the cost of her equine therapy(if there is one) -or other household expenses, but NOT to cover the cost of a buying a horse. Your talking buying a horse, boarding it, feeding it & vetting it. What kind of job for a 15 year old is going to cover those expenses? I honestly think the therapist has a screw loose to throw out that suggestion. How would she feel about not getting paid so you can save that money for this baloney?

    I think you are absolutely justified in your feelings...Both because it is not economically feasible at the moment and two because of what JJJ said. The entitlement thing...That just clearly sends a message that she can treat everyone like cr*p and still get what she wants. Wrong message...How old is the therapist? Don't get me started on the life ins. comment...Stick to your guns! NO!
  6. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Reminds me of the shrink who told me , in the presence of my sons, that I was just going to have to let them get their driver's licence whether I liked it or not, because that was "an important part of their maturation process". They had done nothing but be hurtful and disrespectful and I was expected to reward them.

    Your difficult child's therapist has a heck of a nerve saying that. Stick to your guns, you're the mom. We love you here.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wouldn't do it. I would be ok, however, if difficult child got a job and saved to get it herself.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well if difficult child got a job, saved to get it herself and was over 18 so any repercussions fell back on her. Horses are expensive. Very.

    difficult child's have the attentions spans of a gnat. Maybe she should think about volunteering in a shelter for abused horses.
  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh my goodness.... honestly, I sometimes wonder where some of these therapists' brains are. Would I make the family sacrifice even more just to buy difficult child a horse? Not a chance. Not out of anger or retaliation, but simply because at this point I would bet everyone else has already sacrificed a lot - there's only so much air a difficult child can or should be able to suck out of a family.

    This would be an excellent opportunity for therapist to bring some "real life" into difficult child's thinking. #1 - don't bite the hand that feeds you. In the real world, if you treat people like dirt, they're not going to bend over backwards to accommodate you. Same rules apply at home. Has nothing to do with- whether or not difficult child hates you, in my humble opinion - it has to do with her behavior. She can hate all she wants, but when she makes everyone else's life miserable, she doesn't get rewarded.

    #2 - difficult child has made it impossible for you to work outside the home. Therefore, the extras that your income might provide (to say nothing of necessities) aren't there. Cause meet effect. Not only does this impact difficult child, it affects the *entire* family.

    I think it would be much more realistic to have difficult child get a job to start saving for post HS life - college, apartment, furniture, whatever. Especially since she "hates" you so much - she should be chomping at the bit to get out on her own (pardon the pun).

    Maybe I'm just way too blue collar, but a horse in my book is a true luxury.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    DF, I cannot say I'm stunned @ therapist's suggestion (have heard many too many outrageous comments from tdocs); I'm truly disappointed that yet another therapist is taken in by the "reward" system. Another therapist doesn't see outside of difficult child to include the entire family.

    A good therapist will be working on difficult child's hate issues - working on getting along with others even if there is "hatred". Happens in the real world & if difficult child hates you it's a good life lesson. There is no way I would reward difficult child (nor therapist, for that matter) by honoring that comment & buying a horse. AND I would be there for equine therapy whether it's a week for difficult child or not.

    You are not the one who's not playing by society's rules. You are being a responsible parent. It's time difficult child got a clue. I believe it was this past Christmas I just lost it with the tweedles & wanted little to do with them. To the point of not seeing them at their treatment settings. For the first time in a long time, I put my feelings first. Guess what? It's amazing what a child can learn when they've truly hurt another to the point of being "shut out" for a period of time. I took it the extreme because it was necessary.

    Time for difficult child to start earning her way in your home. Time to cut off the free ride (so to speak). This is also an opportunity for difficult child to learn the true meaning if not of family, of the cost of living. kt is learning the same & is working her little behind off for her 6 ciggies a day. :D

    by the way, I know you wanted to sort out your feelings - I'm here to tell you that it's okay to fell out & out angry. It's okay for difficult child to know how hurt & angry you are.

    Give to get.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Part of me thinks you MUST have misunderstood here what the therapist meant. Or perhaps it was a throwaway line, "If you could afford to get her a horse, that is one possible reward she could work towards."

    I would definitely say this to the therapist - "Sure, you say we should get her a horse, do you? So we not only have to acquire the animal, we need to have somewhere to agist it, the horse needs a stable, it needs bedding, it needs feed, it needs tack, there are blacksmith costs, vet bills, various membership fees and other registration fees - and all for someone who likes horses NOW (but didn't a couple of weeks ago); someone who will only be involved in horses if I am NOT involved (but you can't order the world to your specifications like this - and then, what about me and my enjoyment of horses, do my wishes and choices yet again have to be buried in order to cater to someone who frankly hasn't yet earned it?); someone who is notorious for changing her tune from one week to the next? What is to become of the horse, and our damaged finances, when she decides she was right to begin with, she hates horses after all? Even if someone GAVE us a horse, we couldn't afford to keep it."

    DF, what worries me about this, if this is really a serious suggestion - YOU are the one who loves horses but actually had to give up your position because of difficult child's destructive behaviour. Although in your shoes - if you can get that job back, go for it. You shouldn't quit a job just because your kid is being obnoxious. You shouldn't stop doing ANYTHING merely because your kid is horrible. You have to have other reasons too, that will continue to be valid even if your child's behaviour improves. For example, if you felt you needed to quit the job, ANY job, in order to stay home and supervise difficult child, that would be a valid (but sad) reason. But as soon as you feel you can get back into the workforce - you get the job you want (and the job you can, of course!) regardless of your child's opinions.

    What seems to be happening here - it's the tail wagging the dog. YOU have had to put your own interests and personal space on hold, when you are not doing anything antisocial, merely to placate someone who is being absolutely vicious and unrealistic. This sends so many bad messages:

    1) When you put yourself last in ANY family situation, you are telling your family that this is how life should be, the mother is a doormat and there to be walked over. because this is what mothers do. It sets up the family with the expectation that they can walk over other people in the same situation, and they WILL treat other people like dirt, especially people in a service situation, or mothers, or women - whatever the message they pick up.

    2) If the children getting this message later become mothers themselves (and sometimes those who become fathers) - they tend to become doormats themselves. They will endure abuse from a spouse, from kids, from employers - from anyone.

    3) The expectation of entitlement then comes into play - "the world owes me everything I want, just because I stand here breathing." Even if you made them earn their privileges, the sense of entitlement that your apparent sacrifice has taught them, tells them otherwise and they will fight you all the harder when you try to make them accountable. "Why should I have to be accountable? You'll give me what I want anyway. Or if you don't give it to me, I will take it because it's already mine. Everything is."

    4) Now comes the hatred. And worse than hatred in my opinion, the child despises the parent, looks down on them and considers them to be inferior, someone to be ashamed of. It's like admitting to the world that you have to deal with the hired help, and they really are not good at their job. Nothing will ever be good enough.

    All of these come when you as a parent sacrifice too much of yourself. It is a BAD thing, for you to be selfless and a martyr.

    DF, your daughter has made you a martyr, she treats you like dirt. And the therapist, by asking you to give up even more in order to placate someone who already has a sense of entitlement, clearly doesn't get it. Or we have got it wrong - I'm rather horrified if the therapist has missed this very big point.

    There are too many steps to do first, before you begin to do things like buying your daughter a horse.

    Now to reward systems - I do believe in them. They do work. But this would actually not be a reward system. It would be playing to difficult child's sense of entitlement, and would backfire badly. A kid who believes the world owes her, a difficult child who just takes it anyway when it doesn't get handed to her, is NOT a difficult child who can work well with a material reward system. And reward systems frankly should NOT be material, if you can avoid it.

    Example - we have a non-material reward system in place with difficult child 3. Yes, we do have material rewards also, but they are fairly small and simple - a snack-size chocolate bar handed over immediately, when he really works had on his schoolwork for a fixed (short) period of time. I am trying to teach his brain how to bypass his extreme distractibility, and for this I need something with a fast sensory kickback.
    another reward system we have in place - after working hard all ay on schoolwork and also achieving a certain level, he can earn a driving lesson. Now, he hasn't yet realised - he is getting driving lessons anyway, he won't miss out. But I need the immediate reward for schooldays when he has really worked well, so I will take him for a short drive in my car (if we haven't got husband's car, the one difficult child 3 really needs to learn on the most). And the longer-term outcome of this - difficult child 3 is learning to work more effectively.
    Another very much non-material reward - difficult child 3 can earn time with me playing a computer game with him. Since he loves gaming and also feels the lack of someone to play a computer game with, for difficult child 3 this is an effective reward.

    Now to your difficult child. She claims to hate you. Really hate you. Some of this is typical teen stuff (unfortunately) and possibly a lot of it is her sense of entitlement coupled with your past extreme sacrifice for her. You need to stop going without, to give GG what she wants. You need your personal space, you need your own interests, you need a part of you to be kept apart from your family. ALL your family.

    So find a hobby. If it's horses, then great. Make sure you have time with horses away from difficult child. If difficult child wants to be with horses, then she has to accept your involvement. Your own horse experience comes first, it does not take a back seat to difficult child. NO KID CAN DICTATE - "I will only be with horses if my mother is not involved." Sorry, that is mean, that is selfish and that totally undermines any benefit. The tail just wagged the dog again.

    Whatever you do for yourself, try to keep it fairly non-material. In oter words, going out and buying yourself a heap of clothes is not the hobby I mean. You need something you can do for yourself, something you can develop skills with. Something you can do alone, or with people not your family.
    Suggestions for your personal space - read a book. Read lots of books. Join a book club. Go bushwalking (or whatever you call it in your part of the world). Take up painting (like Linda has done). Or writing. Join a class, or join a local group and meet together with them to work on your hobby. If there is no local group, form one. A group of local mothers in our village did this - three of them would get together one day a week and paint. They painted on whatever they could fin - old tea trays, old bits of plywood left out in the rain, bits of things rescued form scrapheaps. Then they sold their artwork, had exhibitions, enjoyed it, did well. The group has since split up and gone separate ways but are still friends, each of them now moving on with their art in different ways. But for that short while, they were well known here and what is MOST important here - RESPECTED.

    First, DF< you need to rediscover your self-resepct. Then you need to earn respect from others outside your family. This will help boost your own self-respect. Then tywo things will happen:

    1) You will be seen as respected by others and this sends a strong message to your family. Use it. Value it.

    2) You will learn to value others' opinions and be less hurt by family's disrespect.

    All of this snowballs positively.

    So forget about buying difficult child a horse. You can't afford it anyway, it was a stupid idea, but sometimes stupid ideas get floated because they can lead to better ideas. Don't beat up on the therapist for a stupid idea. Because by floating it, she has raised this discussion and it has led to this - YOU NEED TO FIND SOMETHING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF, OUTSIDE THE FAMILY.

    In my family, my writing is sacrosanct. I am also respected outside the family as a writer. Yes, there are those in the community who are scathing about my writing (two stalkers, for example) but there are enough people whose opinions I respect, who DO value my work, for me to shrug off the nasty remarks. That doesn't mean I shut off all debate on any shortcomings of my work - not at all. If you never allow criticism, you never grow as an artist. But you need to learn to read the difference between genuine criticism and pure spite.

    Genuine criticism - "You're a bad mother because you impulsively went for a drink after work and didn't come home until after 9 pm and hadn't made other arrangements for dinner or babysitting for your five year old."

    Spite - "You're a bad mother because you never do anything for me, it's always about you. I need you to buy me what I want to make up for your neglect."

    Remember - yes, you are a mother. And tradition tells us that mothers are supremely self-sacrificing. But you are a woman first, an individual whose needs as a person must be met, BEFORE you can be a good mother.

    Forget the therapist. Worry about YOU.

  12. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    What the other ladies have said.

    And many hugs to you.
  13. helpme

    helpme New Member

    I think the therapist got this all messed up in my humble opinion.
    She's the only motivation I'd need- to get a new therapist.
    If she's saying/doing this stuff, you need a new one, and
    if possibly (I don't see how) you are miss understanding her,
    you still need a new therapist.

    And, I don't think the kid hates you. I think she likes to push
    your buttons. I wouldn't let her. She's using the situation to
    her advantage. I agree with every single post put here to you.

    that therapist is a putz, and she's making u nutz.
    I would have told the therapist she needed therapy herself
    and never scheduled another appointment.
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    This sounds somewhat familiar with difficult child's situation when he was in the psychiatric hospital. He had been begging for a dog for a very long time. husband and I do not want a dog or cat in our house and never gave in to Diva for one so why should we get one for difficult child? At the family meeting the psychiatric hospital SW strongly suggested that we should get a dog or cat. I told her that we were very much opposed to that because neither husband or I are willing to take care of one. We know no matter what the kids say that after a few weeks (if we are lucky to have that much time), the kids would stop the attention to the pet and we would have to do all the work. I REFUSE!!!!

    I really think your therapist is falling for your child's begging for a horse. Your daughter is promising therapist all the right things - oh how much life would be better if......., oh how happier I would be if.......... Your therapist like the psychiatric hospital SW is falling for it.

    Stick to your guns. You can not afford this and I would think lessons would be a good start IF you are able to afford those. Make your difficult child earn each step along the way in MAYBE a future horse? If she can not follow through with the lessons - including your presence while she is there, then she is NOT ready for the responsibility of a horse of her own.

    Tell your therapist that you are not willing to give difficult child this grand treasure until she can prove she is ready for it and that will not be while her total disrespect for you is active. If difficult child can not be motivated to behave for the length of the lesson while you are on grounds, then she is not ready to take care of a horse.

    I wouldn't take her to horse shows unless YOU see they are beneficial. IF you want to go the route of the lessons, than therapist has to focus on that step ONLY. therapist has to work with difficult child to show respect in every aspect of the lessons. She has to be successful for an entire year (or two) before you will CONSIDER a horse. therapist should know better than to try to make difficult child's grandiose dreams a reality. therapist needs to be working on helping difficult child become respectful before suggesting things like this.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    P.S. You might wonder how we got the dog in my avatar after I REFUSED to have one in the house. As the months went on, I felt deep inside that difficult child needed a dog. I still did not want one but when Diva came up with $$$ to get this one I saw it as a win win situation for both kids. Diva puppy was the companion that difficult child needed (I do think some kids just NEED a dog) AND the puppy kept Diva from running at night. Having a puppy that needed to go out every two hours and a difficult child who could not help overnight with that task meant that Diva HAD to stay home.

    I am happy to report that for the most part (99.9% of the time) the kids are still taking full responsibility of the dog.
  16. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My brother got a free horse for his kids last year. It cost him $2000 in vet bills...and then it died.

    No. :mad: And definitely not via a free ride.

    I hope the therapist had this conversation with you without difficult child present?
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Get a new therapist. This one has no brain and is delusional.

    in my humble opinion the largest part of difficult child's love for horses is knowing she is keeping you away from them. She IS that mean, hateful, and disrespectful. I feel very sorry for ANY animal that has to be close to your difficult child in this situation. Horses require a HUGE amount of care and responsibility. Your difficult child cannot even handle minor responsibilities like being civil to family. The horse would be at BEST neglected, and likely actively abused as difficult child would take her hatred of you out on the horse you would have to FORCE her to see. Or, if you took over the horse because she refused to care for it, she would then sneak out to the horse and hurt it because you spent time with it and cared for it. She has ruined so many things for you. DO NOT let her ruin your love of horses. Just don't. Keep her away from horses unless she EARNS them by being out of your home and budget and not creating drama in your life (unless it is the drama of giving you a grandbaby in the framework of difficult child being in a healthy stable relationship and being a loving mother. If you are going to dream, dream big!).

    difficult child has no concept of the real world. She wants to be a model - for the singing. She wants to join the military - to go shopping. She wants a horse - to spite you. NONE of these are realistic plans. She has deprived the entire family of SO MUCH, including a happy home. NO EFF'IN WAY does she get one more reward of ANY kind until she straightens up and flies right. Not a candy bar.

    Tell difficult child the therapist is as delusional as she is. Stop the equine therapy until difficult child can pay for it herself. Get equine therapy for YOU. And a new therapist for difficult child. If this therapist works for a group practice, complain to the head of it. Or to the licensing board. Cause if you were to follow the advice everyone in the family would be victimized by difficult child again and an innocent horse would also be victimized. This therapist needs a reality check.

    As for the life insurance, make SURE that difficult child is specifically taken OFF as beneficiary and left only something small in the will. She has hoovered enough resources from the other kids. (Just in my humble opinion, do what you feel is right, of course.)

    Gentle hugs to you and husband and the other kids. Boot to the hiney for difficult child.
  18. helpme

    helpme New Member

    susistar "
    I was going to say the exact same thing, but I wasn't sure if it would come
    out (in text) correctly. I think with difficult child's mentality, I'd change the beneficiary
    to some sort of trust (where she knows she will be monitored), and I think I'd
    show her something (real or unreal) that you mean business. I'd want to
    stop any delusional thoughts I possibly could, and this would be a very
    important one.

    Besides that, I think she is playing on you. This kid knows your weakness!
    Stop that! Stop that quick! Change things up on her. I know you can do
    that. I'd find me a way to ride the dang horses. I'd do it just to show her
    that you can do it, can do the work it takes, need to do it, and that she
    is not acting appropriately/supportive about it all. Teamwork!
  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you....

    I needed to hear this!

    And just to clarify--difficult child is NOT a beneficiary of my Life Insurance (although truthfully, I'm not even sure if she understands how it even maybe we will need to make that more clear to her).

    And the doctor WAS serious about buying a horse because she mentioned that it only costs $$$ per month to board at ABC and that's soooo reasonable (yea, for a person making her income, I'm sure it is!).

    So in regards to doctor's "horse as motivator" idea--I think I am going to have to clarify for doctor just how much time and energy it "costs" our family to have to live with all of difficult child's guff. In light of all of our sacrifice, it is truly unfair to suggest this kind of "upper-class" prize as a reward for difficult child while the rest of us are left to struggle by clipping coupons and doing without.

    Also...and I think this is what I've been feeling but couldn't quite sort it all out--

    I guess I've been looking for someone to give me "permission" to put myself first for a change. We've been in such a crisis mode with this child for so long now and I've been waiting for some kind of answer or solution so that I could go back to my life....but I guess there isn't any answer--nor any solution....and I need to find a way to get back to my life anyway.

    I guess I need to work on that...
  20. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like the therapist has no clue as to how expensive it is own a horse, let alone how much work it is to care for one. I won't even begin to comment on her thinking you should give in to a needy difficult child's latest whim, others have done that very well. Perhaps an alternative suggestion/compromise is to have difficult child volunteer at a nearby stable so she knows just what it means to take care of a horse. I'll bet she'll change her tune pretty quickly after she mucks a few stalls. If not, then she gets to be around horses, at least.

    I can only imagine the resentment you must feel, when you are a horse lover and gave up a job you would have enjoyed because of difficult child .. and now she's basically "stealing" your love of horses. Hugs. These kids know exactly what buttons to push, don't they?