What to do, what to do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't know if this is a vent or me thinking 'out loud' or both.

    I'm so tired of being with difficult child 24/7. It is a huge battle to get her to do her schoolwork and when I don't feel good, I can't make myself do it some days. I tell her to get on, she gets nasty and I stop. Self-preservation I guess you could call it. It's a battle to get her to do most things. And the endless 'I want you to fix it even though it can't be fixed' ***** the life out of me.

    MR/daughter is coming out Friday, but I really don't expect much to come of it. She has no developmental disability diagnosis and they are just wanting to come out because of what I told them about her. I don't know. Maybe something will, maybe it won't.

    To be quite honest, I'm sick to death of trying to fight with someone who refuses to help herself. Her teachers, me, everyone are doing everything we can to help her and she fights it tooth and nail.

    I never seem to know what to do. I get so frustrated, exasperated and overwhelmed that I'm ready to let her 'fail' at the online school - which means she'll be kicked out for not doing enough work and forced to return to her home SD - then I get a second win and continue the battle knowing that her returning to her home SD is not going to change things. Except get her out of the house, which would probably be really good for everyone.

    I think I've bailed her out too many times. I don't think I've let her really fall, really feel the consequences of her actions. Because I know so intimately what she struggles with on a daily basis. But, even though I struggled with it, I never forced it on someone as much as she does with me. Maybe that's my own fault.

    I just can't do it anymore. I don't want to. I know you guys have heard me say this a lot lately. And maybe even before.

    She has an excuse for everything: she doesn't remember to get on and do school work when I remind her (which I do and she argues and becomes nasty and then I end up dreading it every day), she doesn't think about taking the dog out and I end up chasing him around the neighborhood when he got away from me tonight on ice covered driveways and sidewalks, she doesn't think to check the water dish and I've refilled it 3 days in a row and it was bone dry each time, she doesn't notice the cat bowls are empty.

    She says she doesn't think about these things; she doesn't remember. I told her then that she needs to put a note somewhere will she will remember because these are the things she agreed - promised - to take on when we got the pets and signed up for the online school.

    But, I know that it will not happen. Not unless I force her to feel the full weight of her consequences.

    She finds it perfectly acceptable to criticize everything I do or don't do; things she herself is not willing to do. She makes me feel like a terrible mother, a terrible person. She hates living here. She hates me.

    I'm having a hard time finding a therapist. The problem is I need someone close because I never know how I'm going to feel and driving an hour or even 30 minutes once a week may not always be possible. I even broke down and called county mental health. And after leaving messages with intake for 3 weeks and finally leaving a message with the supervisor, got a call back and they took my and difficult child's information and informed that there is a 6-9 month wait. Minimum.

    And I sit here with tears streaming down my cheeks because tonight was just more of the same and I just don't know what to do anymore. I really don't. I always thought I was doing my best and trying so hard to help her. And now I think that I was doing everything completely wrong. And I don't know how to fix it.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I know. I remember those awful, awful days, when everything I did or didn't do was wrong. It wore me down till I was a big puddle of nothing. I even asked Hubby to have his vasectomy reversed so I could have another child to prove I really was a good mother, since I was so obviously a failure with Miss KT. And since I was a failure as a mother, didn't that also mean I was a failure as a person? I beat myself up horribly for so long, and there are still times when I wonder if somehow it's my fault that she's like this.

    The hardest thing for me was to recognize that I couldn't help her, and I learned that from my adult students. Many of them had been to AA or NA, and they said the first step was "we admitted we were powerless over_____." AA members, sorry if I didn't remember it correctly. That made a lot of sense to me, because I AM powerless over Miss KT's lousy attitudes. I AM powerless over her determination to sabotage herself. I AM powerless over her behaviors. All I can do is set the boundaries and make the tools available to her when she wants to make a positive change. It's so hard. You are NOT a failure, and you are NOT alone. Many hugs.
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Heather, your daughter sounds very similar to my son except it was testosterone that was flowing freely. He was very difficult at this age. One of the things that helped me was reading a book by someone who had a diagnosis(different symptoms) similar to my son's. Looking at the world through my difficult child eyes makes me understand and tolerate some behaviors. His forgetfulness, inability to see a family members struggling with illness or sadness or to not realize that the world is not centered around him is not a behavior of choice. It is really who he is and we are all in the process of teaching him differently.

    This is not self indulgence on his part but a true brain wrinkle that he was born with and lives with everyday. It's as if some important fundamental learning skipped a part of his brain. He is missing a puzzle piece that make a neurotypical person. Things that are obvious to us or were to us when we were that age are not so obvious to some of our difficult children.

    We still struggle with his self absorption even though he is generous to a fault. If I ask him to do something, he usually does it but is unable to remember or establish a daily pattern on his own. Notes from me or posted schedules don't seem to work unless I remind him to look at it. He needs cued for things that he doesn't automatically remember.

    Getting back to your situation of being overwhelmed. The only thing that worked for me is respite. After school care or having her do something where she is out of the house a few hours a day is important for both of you. Post a schedule for her. I would tell her that it will be a help so she doesn't feel like it is a punishment. Organizing their time is a big obstacle for them.

    I don't know how to teach them to do the things their peers are doing but they are a work in progress even at 24.

    Hope today is a better day.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    This has been going on for too long. You & difficult child are likely sick of one another. You both, for the most part, homebound. Even with the people you love the most a break is needed.

    AND what you're doing hasn't been working so you need a new plan.

    Is difficult child still helping around the house? Is she gaining new pride in things she can accomplish on her own? kt needs a lot of "nudging" to learn new things; many times she needs someone in the same room with her. I can be doing something totally different. She just needs my presense. I've learned to accept that. I grab my book on tape & listen while I sketch; grab my knitting, whatever. If I'm in the kitchen while kt is doing her homework or dishes, she finishes with-o my help.

    Is difficult child interestred in doing something like volunteering at the humane society or senior's home (kt's done that & loves it)? You have a easy child who can help with transport for that. He can even stick around for the couple of hours if needed.

    Respite is the one thing that saved me. I can survive anything if I know that respite for kt is on the 1st & 3rd weeks of the month. I do my own little count down in my calendar. I even tease kt about the parties I throw the minute she leaves the house - she's started singing & dancing with me. Is no longer insulted.

    Heck, even if it's respite by having a sleepover with one of difficult children friends & 2 weeks later the same happens at friends house.

    Just offering you some suggestions. It's not an easy road & finding respite is one of the more challenging aspects of parenting a difficult child.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really feel for what you are going through and I wish I knew the answer. The one thing with my easy child who is so depressed is she is so much the hermit that I get breaks (well maybe more than I should cause a lot of times she just won't talk to me but that's a whole other story-point is I get a break) You truly do need respite but how to get it.

    Have you ever googled respite in your area? I was so desperate with difficult child one night a few years ago that I did and ended up getting at least some respite. Honestly if I was cooped up with my difficult child all the time I would be certifiably insane. I don't think I could do it. I'm impressed with what you do each and every day. You are a great mom.
  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I hear you. The more I did to help my difficult child 1 the less she would do for herself. I fought to get her all the help I could and she wouldn't do anything with it. I think it was a control issue. She finally ended up at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when she was a week away from her 16th birthday.

    Truly, she really didn't start taking responsibility for her life til she was no longer living with our family and I no longer was helping her in any way.

    I know your dtr is too young to just let go of but I think you are right--you will have to let her fall and fail before she will take any interest in helping herself. So sorry for your situation,

  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Oh, hon, you truly need a break. Not just a weekend, but something much more. A lot of what you are going through with Wynter really is typical teen for her age. Sadly, it is 10 times worse in Wynter than in the typical kid. My daughter still suffers from I don't seeivitus. Unless I specifically point out the cats need food or water or she spilled something, she just doesn't see it. The other night, she spilled some ice cream. She actually cleaned it up! Or so she thought. When I went to the kitchen to straighten it up, I found all kinds of chocolate she had missed. Go figure. Honestly, if I had to put with that 24/7, I'd probably choke my child. It truly amazes me that you have put up with it so long and so well.

    As to doing too much for your child, yes, you probably have. I think that it is at about Wynter's age that most of us parents figure out we're trying to save our kids too much and that it is time for them to start working on saving themselves. I'd guess it is nature's way of getting us ready to shove them from the nest. For you, it is even harder because you do so well understand Wynter's struggles and want to protect her from at least some of the pain. The problem is she wants you to take care of all of it so she has NO pain. That can't happen. So, I'd suggest you start with semi-baby steps, although I'm not sure they are baby steps. Tell her online school is her responsibility 100%. You will help if you can but you will not remind her to do the work. You will not nag her to get a project done. It will all be up to her. If she chooses to fail and go back to the SD, that will be her choice. She is old enough to take responsibility for herself on this one.

    For the pets, I would simply remind her they need water, etc. I know my daughter is pretty good about taking care of it once she's reminded but she really doesn't notice unless I say something, even today. It seems to be some sort of a wrinkle as Fran puts it. If she tries to stall or argue about it, I'd simply grab the pet dishes and hand them to her without a word. Ditto about letting the dog out. Hand her the leash but say nothing.

    You're like me. You try to talk to her, to help her. The reality is she uses the speeches by you as an excuse to not do. It gives her a chance to argue every little thing. been there done that. I didn't learn until mine was almost an adult. I quit talking and went into action. One reminder and then I would physically hand her whatever implement was needed to do something. I did let her know if she didn't know how to do something, I would be there to answer questions but nothing more. I learned the hard way to not give her tips on how to make a job easier until the job was done and then I would simply say that I found if I did X, it went a little faster. If I suggested that while she was doing it, she would have a fit and quit working.

    Helping our kids grow up really does sukk. We want to protect them from life's hardships. We want reality to be far away from them. Sadly, life doesn't let us and neither do they. While they want to be momma's little girl, they also want to be our equals. They can't have it both ways and we have to find a way to walk the line.

    As for you, quit listening to your daughter. She's being a brat and she knows how to push your buttons. You have gone way above motherhood duties for her. You help her every way you can. It really is time for her to start helping herself. When she harps on you about what a lousy mother/housekeeper/woman you are, simply smile and say, "Yes, dear, and since you know how to do it so much better, please do it." And let that be your parting shot. Remember, she's being the brat, not you.

    And, most importantly, HUGS!!! You are an awesome mother. I think most of us would have merrily strangled Wynter a long, long time ago.
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I just wanted to send some hugs your way. I can appreciate what you are going through. My easy child has been difficult on and off now for years, with a recent ridiculous act. I thought of community work in the area. I don't know if this is an option for you at all, bringing her back and forth and all. I know you haven't been feeling well.

    Yet I figured I'd throw the thought out there. My easy child is the same for the most part, I can speech her to death and yet nothing comes of it. She manipulates me, criticizes me, etc. Yet her approach is a bit more underhanded in the sense that she "plays" me into thinking it's all good, then diverts my attention to something else "let's say a firend of her's with whom is sleeping with a guy with-o protection" goes on and on about how bad they are than she wreaks havoc.

    It's a hard, hard age without a doubt. Self preservation big time I soo hear you on that.

    I also feel that I too have bailed easy child out too many times which has lead to this increasing bs. I feel there are times when the sh*t should hit the fan so to speak.

    I'm slowly learning, sooo slowly by the way we an only control so much of what they do, and only do our best to enlighten them to their ridiculous ways.

    (((hugs))) i'm sorry your having a rough time again.
  9. lillians

    lillians lillians

    i agree do not listen ,,lol how hard is that,, very hard,, our daughter calls us filthy names and scream at everything,, for me i walk away,,hubby goes insane and joins her tirades,, doesnt work and he gets ill,,feeding the animals will not happen so i kept on keeping on til i found a job she likes and will do,, and every nite,, we have birds,, 7,, and her job is to cover them up each nite,, and she does it dont know why,, she also then looks at them and hollers to me mom their water needs to be chnged i do not answer,, she chages the water and then scolds me,,ooops ,,ok,,she doesnt clean her room nor put her clothes away,, nor help with anything unless i find a new way of reason,, when i cant i just do not want it all,, when she has her sweet time she will do anything ,, yu ask ,,just let it be,,say little play music in your mind,,, its so very hard,, hugs to you,,
  10. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    One thing my counselor often tells me is that if you are doing something and it isn't working, stop doing it. You are frustrating yourself and the child. One of the hardest things I have to do is to walk away from children when I cannot handle it anymore. I couldn't imagine being with them 24/7. Is there anyway she could do regular school or is the online school her only option? I think regular school would be good for both of you. She has a chance to see others and you get a break. We are products of our environment. One thing the psychiatrist told me yesterday was that my son "needs" to be around kids his own age.

    I often have the same negative thoughts about this is my fault. Although we have recently had a diagnosis on my son, I've had 7 years of feeling like I haven't been a good enough mother to him because of the way he acts. The older children and others say things like "why don't you do something about him". It is so hurtful and they have no idea the chaos it causes inside my own mind.

    Sending hugs your way. I hope you get some relief soon.
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh hon, I am so there with you. I know exactly how you feel...and for you to be ill on top of it? Something's got to give. I like Linda's ideas about respite. I also wonder if Wynter returning to public school might be a very good thing. If other people hold her accountable, you are less the "bad guy". She does need to learn that there are consequences for her actions in life, even if she is not doing those things "on purpose". She might, just by being back in mainstream and having peer contact, better learn to cope with her issues instead of pointing the finger at you for everything.

    If Tink were home all day every day, I'd have hung her out to dry by now.

    Mega hugs.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Thank you for the support, ladies. Fran, I would be interested in that book if you remember the title.

    I gave her an ultimatum. She has to get on everyday and do her school work. She has to make an effort. I don't care what her grades are right now; I just want her to try. She has make up work to do, so she will be working through winter break. She has until the end of winter break to show me that she's making the effort, or I'm re-enrolling her in our home district.

    Of course, she then swore she wouldn't go and I foresee having to have the resource officer come to take her to school.

    She called me a liar - that I said that I loved her, but I don't. She asked me what have I ever done for her? She said I've never done anything for her. She said I don't know anything about her and that I never listen to her. She said she hates it here and doesn't want to live. She sat down in front of the door when I was trying to go outside to get away from her and wouldn't move. I had to physically move her.

    Another day in the life of a difficult child.
  13. JLady

    JLady A ship lost in the night

    Hurtful comments. Let them roll off you. You know better. This too shall pass.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree. Respite.

    Sometimes all I have to do is be in the same room with-my son and I get depressed, and he feels the same way. I cannot believe how much you two are together. I have to at least walk around the block or go the hardware store every day to get away.

    My son pulled that "You don't love me or do anything for me," stunt. I said, in a calm voice, "You're right, taking you to Chick-father in law-et, buying you a new backpack, and rubbing your back when you go to sleep are all things I do because I don't love you. I never do anything for you. I never rub your shoulders. Never make you dinner. Or pack your lunch. Or make sure you have clothes to wear to school. You're absolutely right."
    He mumbled something about, "Well, other than that, I mean ... that's not what I meant."

    I couldn't help but smile, because it reminded me of the scene in Monty Python when the People's Front of Judea (in particular, John Cleese) demands, "What have the Romans every done for us? Nothing!"
    "Well, there were the aquaducts."
    "True. But other than that ... "
    "Um, sanitation."
    "Well, I'll grant you the aquaducts and the sanitation. But other than that!"
    "The roads."
    "Well, the roads. Of course, that goes without saying. All right, all right, I'll grant you the aquaducts, the sanitation, and the roads. But other than that, they've never done a thing."
    "Education? Well ... "

    That is exactly how our kids are, Heather.

    Please let her comments roll off your shoulders. She doesn't have a clue what she's saying.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Thanks so much, Fran. I have seen Temple interviewed and she has so much insight into how she and others like her view the world.

    I'm ordering it today.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It was an eye opener to me. I hope it helps you too. I used her mother as a role model for what sorts of things I could do to help socialize him.