What do you do when you dont like your child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by urameanmami, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. urameanmami

    urameanmami New Member

    I feel so bad admitting I don't like my daughter, I feel like its admitting Im a bad parent, like there is something wrong with me. I should like her, but she drives me insane and most of the time, I dont even want to be near her. She knows what nerve to hit and goes for the jugular every time. She tries to hurt my ds and then gets angry with me for defending him and keeping him to next to me. I took all three kids with me to Disney this weekend, I took pictures with EJ and Lin and my grandmother noticed on facebook that I had no pictures with Nae. I explained to her that I don't like being next to her because her energy cloud is like a vacuum and it sucks you in. She is an emotional vampire. She told me that I should try harder. I don't know how to try any harder, I do everything I can and spend every waking moment trying to "fix" something she did. The kids in the neighborhood will play with my other kids but not with her and she goes ballistic when I wont let her play outside, but shes been accused of stealing and hitting. This is where I live. I have no friends, no outside relationships. My mom, sister and brother wont come to visit me because of her tantrums and wont let me go visit with the kids because they are afraid of her in their homes. So... what do you when you don't like them??
  2. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have never experienced this to the extent that you describe. I have had moments of self pity and hating the things my difficult child has done. Your daughter is not well. Much of her behavior is related to her mental illnesses. Resenting this is not going to help your other relationships. I am so so sorry your family is not understanding and supportive. You will first have to understand her issues well enough to develop empathy so that you can try to educate your family. You are isolated and this has got to be hard. Manu of us have had friends and neighborhoods disappeare when our difficult children do what they do. I'm glad you reach out here. This was not easy to share I am sure.

    Is she being treated? Medications? How is school for her? Are you getting support from a MH professional so you can parent her? What respite do you get to care for yourself? Have you ever been to NAMI meetings. I highly recommend this. I learned so much there and met many supportive people.

    Children do not act out to make us miserable. It may feel like it, but they don't. Her mind does not function as it should and if she is BiPolar (BP), she has so many challenges with her brain. At school when I feel frustrated by kids that are not my own, I tell myself that they are important, they are loved and that their behavior is not directed at me. It is also my cue that I need to find positive moments for them. I also believe your daughter doesn't want to be how she is. Behavior is communication in all of us. What might her behaviors be saying that you could address? Can you focus on any good that she does? When I focus on positives, these behaviors increase. I am reinforcing what she is able to do. Can you sit in a quiet moment and talk about things, problem solve? She above all needs your attention. She is feeling what you are feeling-and some of her behvior may be an unconscience way to get you to pay attention-any attention is better than none.

    I'm glad you shared-please try to see she too is in pain and she needs you. Perhaps this will decreas some of the negative behaviors that contribute to your feelings for her.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hard question but a really honest one and there are times when I dont like my son. I love him dearly but I have had up to a couple of days when my brain just separates from him... after particularly hard times when he hits me or makes a scene somewhere... It just gets to be too much.

    For me I dont feel like a bad parent for THAT (I have moments for other times when I feel I have not done my best... but I eventually do give myself a break, helps when folks here share and remind me I am human).

    So some things that help me.... respite (for us Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) workers for four hours three times a week), finding things for us to do together, no friends or family....just Q and me. We go to places he likes and I work really hard not to nit pick for little things that are just who he is, even though they can be really frustrating and even embarrassing (like when I switched over to Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) at a convenience store and as he was collecting his stuff he was yelling D-bag and this guy was walking by and gave a stare like what kind of mother are you anyway..????) I guess his stare was worse than my son... As my friend says... He has autism, what was this guy's excuse???

    I talk to people here, and one or two friends with kids kind of like Q.

    Go easy on yourself. It does take making a conscious effort to make sure they ARE in pictures. They are not their behaviors. But it is hard to be around it all the time.

    Is she able to process things through a counselor?

    I dont remember her history....what are the reasons she has such problems??

    HUGS, go easy on yourself... Dee
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I always love my kids... But I do NOT always like them. My Mom has said the same to me, about me.

    That said... sometimes, you just canNOT try harder.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Urameanmommie, I am so sorry. I've felt like that many times about my son, but never to the extent you are experiencing it. Do you have a therapist? S/he will teach you how to detach. You've got to learn if you are going to continue to parent your daughter. I disagree with-your grandmother that you have to try harder. She doesn't have a clue. What I would recommend is detachment, instead. Seriously, you can only give so much.
    Once you have learned to detach, you may be able to see your daughter more clearly and some of her behaviors, looks, bits of conversation or whatever may actually turn out to be likeable. It worked for me. I work on it every day. It's a process, so don't expect to just one day be able to detach. ;)
    I would definitely still be in a photo with-her (too late now for Disney) and do what you have to do ... hold your breath, pretend you are putting your arm around a statue, whatever, but include her because she is still a part of your family. (I used to pretend that my son's outbursts were a really horrid show on TV ... ;) )
    I would also change around her medications and get more therapy for her because at the moment, it sounds like you are spinning your wheels and not making any progress.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I love how terry put it... I was thinking of how to say it but I dont live that kind of detachment life as much. but as she puts it in this context I can see that is a great way to say it. That is exactly what I have naturally started to do lately. It just gets to be too much and when you are too close, for me anyway, it is hard to make objective parenting decisions in his best interest. I say things too quickly that I regret then... not ugly things but things that make the situation worse or increase his anxiety by going to a strict consequence route instead of more moderate.... a consequence and a way to solve things and do better...

    yeah, just saying try harder when you have spent every ounce of energy on this child who can bleed you dry... not the right way to say it. For me it is just making conscious choices to do things that help me feel better about things... Doesn't always work but usually does. Some days, just having him gone works really well. Sigh. For you, will be something different.
  7. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    You're taking an enormous step by being honest here and with yourself in a way that most people won't understand. It is possible to love someone you don't like, just as there are many whom you like but don't love. Sometimes parents and children - whether bio, adopted, or in between - just don't click. But she's still a child, entrusted to you for care, and care you must, in the best way you can.

    Detachment is a subtle concept, and - for me at least - can be overdone. (Detaching from well-meaning advice is another matter). For my daughter, I start by trying to see things from where she sits, at a time when she's not there. It makes me cry. Then I try to summon what compassion I can find to make a tiny step forward. And then another.

    You may never ever like her, but she needs to see that you care. Starting in little ways that she (and you) can accept.


  8. ringelberg

    ringelberg New Member

    Over the past year, I have felt like that many times. I know that I love him, but there have been times that I do not like him. There have been many many times that I have thought to myself "I have to do this because I am all he has." I am not extremely religious, but I believe that God gave me Austin for a reason. I don't have any miracle answer, but a suggestion of a couple of things that help me cope.

    First, get a break. Luckily, between my husband and other son-17, and of course school, I do get some free time, not much, but some. Maybe there is someone that your difficult child's therapist could suggest, someone at church, you could ask the guidance counselor at school if she knows someone.... brainstorm, but find someone.

    Second, get some support for you. Seeing a therapist for you is a great idea! Also, Not sure if you go to church, but if so, maybe a small group. One where you could get to know the people and confide in them your struggles. I have found both of these to be a great help when I thought I would go crazy.

    Third, not sure if this will help, but it helped me have a change of attitude. Read and learn as much about your daughter's condition. After reading a few books and a bunch of websites, I have a renewed prospective on the situation. I have been viewing my difficult child's problems as if he could choose to behave differently. This was extremely frustrating and made me angry at him for deliberately making life difficult. His brain is different and I now see him in a different light. It isn't his choice and it isn't my parenting, it is a disability. I'm not saying that I don't get angry, but it is easier to detach when it is illogical to blame him (or myself).

    Hang in there. Take care of yourself.
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't think you are alone. I think you're just unusual by actually posting it. Personalities vary alot even among easy child's. Sometimes they just don't jive. Family or not! There have been time periods when I really did not like being around my eldest difficult child...there still are. I have a sister who was just different than the rest of the family. She was not "bad" (and still isn't, lol) but as my Dad said "she just follows the beat of a different drummer".

    As a parent I tried to identify in advance when my difficult child was apt to get on my nerves and come up with a plan where I could keep my distance for awhile. Once I began keeping notes on our highs and lows it made it easier to intervene as there were patterns to her behavior. by the way, I found that it worked best for me to just keep my feelings to myself and make adaptations. She's now almost fifty and doesn't have a clue that she wasn't "liked". I understand...and think many do. Don't feel guilty just try to find the best way to keep a healthy distance when it gets to you. Hugs. DDD
  10. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I have felt this way and still do sometimes. It is not something that I am happy to say but it's the truth. Truth be told, I am sure she loves me but doesn't always like me either. We are human. Cut yourself some slack. Sometimes I even wondered about the love thing. If you have a relative or friend who delights in hurting you, whether it be physical or mental, verbal, what is their to love or like? You won't always feel this way, they will do something charming, or you will remember them when they were different, but it's okay. Don't make it worse by laying on extra guilt to yourself for having a feeling. It's okay. That was the hardest part for me. I learned those feelings change just like any other emotion we have. Hang in there. Many hugs.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know that I love him, but there have been times that I do not like him. There have been many many times that I have thought to myself "I have to do this because I am all he has."

    Yes. Well put. I agree.
  12. I say over and over to myself like a mantra, He didn't choose to be like this. After all, no one would ever choose to have his brain chemistry. Sometimes I say to myself, It s*cks to be him. [As I well know, since I was just like him.] It's very hard being in that kid's skin.

    Sometimes I count years, months, until I think he's going to get it together better. I'm guessing he'll be 15 since that's how old I was when it all kind of clicked and I became mostly normal.

    The "mantras" help give me a perspective I could certainly never come up with in the heat of the moment, if the thought were not already pre-formed. Good luck.
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've felt this way many times over the years. You're definitely not alone.
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I've felt like this too many times to count over the years. I think it's a "normal" feeling when raising difficult children. Our lives are turned upside down and I doubt any of us are ever truly prepared for the absolute HE77 we find ourselves in... Life as we know it ends.

    During the darkest times, I always felt a tremendous sense of responsibility. They were my children and it was my job to help them become happy, successful individuals (whatever that meant for each of them.) I coped with my feelings through daily exercise (I loved to run), by talking to my closest friend, by posting here, and by researching and learning as much as possible about ways to help them reach their full potential as adults. The more I learned, the more I realized it's OK to love them without liking them.

    Be gentle with yourself... Hugs... SFR
  15. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I think most of us here have felt that way towards our difficult children at some point. I am not really liking mine right now as she lies in her bed too tired to attend school this morning. It is hard to like them when dealing with everything that comes along with a difficult child. I love my daughter more than anything, but I do not have to like how she is behaving. And, there are days like today that I count down until she tuns 18 and she is on her own. I remind myself that I do not have to like the behaviors of my difficult child. Hugs. I know how hard it is to feel this way. I have been dealing with it myself.
  16. urameanmami

    urameanmami New Member

    My mom was a diagnosed bipolar schizophrenic with paranoid delusions and suicidal ideations, so my daughter condition is not one I have not dealt with in the past. My main issue is that, I don't get the EXTREME over reactions to ANY situations, when she gets angry it isnt even her in there, and she goes for blood with EJ he is smaller than her. She is destructive and most of the time when you ask her why anything, her answer is always it wasnt me, I dont know. Half the time, it isn't a person I recognize in there. I know that sometimes all she wants is hugs and attention, and I describe out relationship like this blog reads: Why I Hate My Bipolar Child - Hells Bells - Open Salon although hate is too strong a word. I jost dont know how to respond to her sometimes, Im walking on eggshells all the time. There is no reason good enough to explain why she is the way she is, she just is. We have the SIPP application and I want to try to help, but I just dont think I can help her atleast not the way she needs.
  17. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Thank you for posting the Open Salon piece. In her later posts the author states: "IF LOVE IS DEFINED by sheer expenditure of psychic and tangible resources, then there’s no question that I love my daughter. But as a parent and a person, I am perilously flawed. She has pushed me to the edge and off it, forced me to learn things I never, ever wanted to know about myself, slammed me up against my own limits and proved my pettiness and capacity for rage. She’s taken the person I thought I was away."

    That is so well said. I have felt that way about two out of three of my children.
  18. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    There are many times when I will hear "you don't love me whaaa whaaaa whaa" from both of my difficult children. No..I love you but don't like what you are doing. in fact I use that hate word about some of the things but I always tell them that no matter what they do I will always love them.
    Don't know if I can say the same about their father, my bio son who is their bio dad. When the time came that I needed to get custody of the boys for their safety from his wife....I have him a choice....her or the boys. He chose her saying she needed his help and that he knew the boys would be safe with me. They divorced soon after and she moved to TN. He was paying child support but she wanted out of it so asked how that could happen. Told her the only way was for me to adopt them (which I did). He told me he would sign just to keep the boys safe from her but would continue to help me financially....that never happened. He prefesses that he loves these boys but although we only live two miles apart he has hardly had time for them. He is part of the reason Daniel needed Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The boys I will love forever but I cannot stand my adult son and what he has done or rather not done for these boys.
  19. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I have felt this way many, many times over the years. I even told the therapist (when difficult child was not in the room) that I just could not ever forsee a time when I would miss having him around. He told me that I never know and that difficult child could be a completely different person once he grows up some more.

    Don't be too hard on yourself. It's very hard to like someone who causes such upheaval. I have learned not to take things day by day, but moment by moment. I have to hold on to the good moments (which, I admit, can sometimes be few and far between) and try to get through the bad ones.

    Remember that you are not alone. I think that we have all felt like this from time to time.