Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

DD abusing me - distressed

(320 Posts)
Minifingers Fri 03-May-13 12:39:13

Have posted about dd on parenting teenagers board under a different user name. If you recognise me, please don't out me, as dd sometimes searches mn to see what I've said about her. I don't think she has ever looked at this board though. I lurk on this board a bit. I thought I'd post after realising that what I'm feeling at the moment is not a million miles away from what what I read here from women in abusive partnerships with adults. I really need to off-load.

There's a special kind of sadness and shame attached to being abused by your young teenage child because underneath you are constantly asking yourself the question - are they like this because of the way I've parented them? And fear for them - for their future and their well-being. I strongly believe that behaving in a violent and abusive way doesn't just harm the person who's being abused, but in a spiritual and emotional sense also the person who's behaving abusively. That's really hard when you are a parent on the receiving end of abuse from your child.

A bit of background: dd is going to be 14 in August. Up until the end of primary she was a very easy and happy little girl. Unusually happy, confident and high spirited I'd say. She had a massive sense of fun and loads of energy, to the point that she'd always be the last child standing at any party or sleep-over. She breezed through primary in top sets for everything, despite being one of the youngest in her year. Her teachers LOVED her. She was very, very pretty too, to the point that people would stop me in the street and say what an adorable little girl she was.

Fast forward to year 9 and she's unrecognisable as the happy, lovely little girl we knew before. She's still sociable and has a lot of friends, including a couple she's known since nursery. But that's all that's left of what she was before. On the days she's not actively refusing to go to school (about 2 or 3 out of every 5 days at the moment - she just won't get out of bed), she deliberately makes herself very, very late. She regularly argues with teachers - just point blank refuses to do things she doesn't feel like doing at school, whether it's an assessment for PE, moving desks because she's been talking, whatever. She walks out of detentions if she thinks they've kept her long enough, refuses to do any homework, is MASSIVELY disrespectful to the teachers she doesn't like.

Obviously I've tried to do something about her behaviour. I've moved her school (she asked me to and I was unhappy with her old school), I have kept in regular touch with her tutor and her head of year. We have tried to put sanctions in place for bad behaviour (ie grounding and losing her phone) and made our expectations clear but we aren't the most organised people and her behaviour has been so universally bloody awful that it has got to a point where sanctions become a bit meaningless. And in the meantime she has become so angry, and so resentful of me in particular, and it's got worse and worse to the point where I can't see how we can go on, despite the support we've had from the school and from other agencies (CAMHS) to get to the bottom of her behaviour.

If you've read on to this point you might be thinking - So far, so typical of some teenagers, but I'm posting specifically because of her behaviour towards me and how it's made me feel.

Over the last few months she has become more and more aggressive towards me. She
- daily tells me I'm pathetic and a failure as a parent because I have an autistic child (her youngest brother who is 7) and a daughter (her) who has been referred to CAMHS and who I can't control
- tells me I'm old and stupid. Tells me constantly to 'shut up' and if I don't do what she says, says 'Are you stupid? Did you hear me? SHUT UP'
- tells me I'm a failure because the house is messy and because I buy my clothes in charity shops
- says that DH should leave me and could do much better than me
- walks into the bathroom when I'm in the bath, even when I have the door locked and have said not to come in - she sticks a card through the gap in the door and unlatches it, pushes her way in and shoots disgusted looks at my body. Says she needs to wash her hands and won't go downstairs to do it because she can't be bothered
- walks into my bedroom and pulls things off my shelves when she wants something of mine, without asking me if she can have it. She walks past me into the room, ignores me when I say 'what do you want?', literally physically barges me out of the way and laughs at me, just takes what she wants and walks out.
- she has locked me out of the house when I've stepped outside to put something in the bin
- she has trashed my room
- she body-blocks me in the hallway of the house, sticks her face in mine and shouts at me that I'm pathetic and scared to make eye contact with her.
- she gas lights me
- she tells me I should just leave and why don't I give up and move out
- she constantly points out that DH earns more than me and that therefore he is 'in charge'. I have pointed to her that this is not how finances work in a marriage (at least not in ours thank god). She ignores me.

..... and then yesterday she snatched my mobile after I refused to allow her something she wanted. When I tried to get it back off her she hit me around the face, knocking my glasses to the floor, laughed at me when I cried, and shoved me out the front door of the house.

She weighs 10 and a half stone and is stronger than me. I'm frightened of her.

I found myself sitting crying in the car and too frightened to go back into my own home. I ended up going around to my SIL's house. She came back home with me and persuaded dd to be driven round to my mums, where she stayed last night.

I don't want her to come home. I feel completely traumatised by the last few months - I have this constant feeling of exhaustion and a weird sense of vigilance - like I am living under siege. I suspect a year or two more of this and I'd have a heart attack or something. The atmosphere in the house is often awful and it's affecting my ability to parent my other two children.

And although I'm the one who is the target of most of her spite and anger, DH is also very stressed by it. He's a 45 year old manager and someone who I would have said had 'cast iron' good mental health. Yet she managed to make him cry last week. First time I have seen him cry in the 20 years we've been together. He's a brilliant dad, very patient and caring. He's made loads of time for dd the past year, knowing that she's struggling with growing up, taken her shopping, to the theatre and out to lunch.

I keep asking myself what I've done to make her like this. DH and I have been together for 20 years, and we have always been loving and respectful to each other, in front of the children and at every other time. We NEVER speak to each other in a disrespectful way.

I have not been a perfect parent to dd - I have nagged her too much about her lack of effort at school (and when I say lack of effort I mean lack of ANY effort, not a failure to reach some impossible standard of perfection), I have lost the plot at times and shouted and pleaded with her about her truanting and lateness. On a couple of occasions I attempted to push her into her bedroom when she attacked me. I should have walked away and shut myself in my bedroom instead of engaging with her physically. DH has admitted he's made mistakes with her as well, and has apologised for telling her she was a 'waste of space' (in fairness, this was a comment on her absolute refusal to ever lift a finger to help at home, including refusing to do even such basic things such as remove her plate from the table after eating, put rubbish in a bin instead of just dropping it on the floor wherever in the house she happens to be standing, or flush the toilet after she's done a crap in it). Can her abusiveness be our fault? Is it always learned behaviour?

How do I survive the next few years being abused and disrespected in my own home until she grows up and either leaves or stops doing it? How do I keep myself intact and strong as a mother?

If you've got this far - thanks! I'm going out to walk the dog (stress relief). Will come back and respond later if anyone answers this.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-May-13 12:48:11

What do the pair of you do together that's fun or relaxing? It all sounds highly stressed with lots of people telling her what to do and trying to control her behaviour. Quite often young people will turn to aggression when they want attention or love. Do you ever have (have you ever had) time you set aside when you're not caring for her brother or issuing sanctions but you just do something together, one on one, no stress.... ?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 03-May-13 12:48:57

BTW... what's happened at school to make her not want to be there? Bullying?

Mintyy Fri 03-May-13 12:51:54

As per the advice you have had many times on the other thread: call the police on her. You really absolutely should have called the police after last night's attack. And no, it isn't you or your dh's fault.

kotinka Fri 03-May-13 12:53:53

I think it's time for you to call social services in, you need more help. I'm so sorry to hear what's happening to you. it's truly appaling. how does she. behave to Dad? how does Dad support you? is he backing you up?

mrsXsweet Fri 03-May-13 12:54:03

I don't have any advice to offer but just wanted to say poor you. It sounds awful and must be exhausting. I'm sure someone will be along soon with help.
A couple of things, did her behaviour deteriorate with your son's diagnosis? Is she the oldest? Is she the only girl?

PeppermintPasty Fri 03-May-13 12:55:22

That sounds utterly miserable and awful for you and yes, people with more experience will be along. I was never this girl when I was your daughter's age, but my sister came close.

I suppose you've been through all the possibilities such as bullying etc <pathetic attempt at helping> thanks

ImperialBlether Fri 03-May-13 12:56:26

I've been reading this almost crying for you. How awful for you, especially as she was so lovely as a child. My daughter changed rapidly, too - when she started her period at the age of 11 she sat on my knee for comfort and I chatted to her while she was in the bath. By the time her next period was due she was a different girl.

Is there a pattern to her behaviour? I'm thinking, obviously, of hormonal changes. Is she ever OK? Does she ever admit she's in the wrong?

My brother was a nightmare to live with and I was very, very scared of him. It affected me for decades and I haven't spoken to him since I was eight years old. My parents have brushed aside the difficult years and think I'm being stubborn not speaking to him. I suppose I'm looking at this from both a parent's point of view and also a child's.

Your other children deserve to live in a non-violent household, as, obviously, do you and your husband. They have as much right to help as she does.

I think you should call the police every time she does something to hurt you. I know you won't want to do that, but she needs to be forced to admit what she's doing. I'd also go to the GP and say that she seriously needs help and that if she doesn't, she or you could end up in prison.

I still think the only way our (large) family could have been helped was if my brother was removed from the house and given specialist help. I can understand my parents not wanting to do that, but the impact on everyone else was tremendous and while he stayed at home he didn't get help.

Have you seen the residential boarding schools for children who are like this? The results can be amazing. I can only imagine how hard it is for a parent to do that, but you have to look at the family as a whole.

Keep posting here. You'll get amazing support. You might want to change your heading to something that will bore the arse off her so she doesn't look at it, like "Recipes for good health in your retirement"!!

musickeepsmesane Fri 03-May-13 12:56:29

This sounds out of control and no, it is not your fault. If you are the sort of parents you seem to come across as. You sound caring and fair. Time to get social services involved. It is not ok for anyone to hit you. Do you think there was a trigger for her change in personality? Though I think you are questioning her mental health. There is a foster care system out there that could help. I have just reread your post. It is awful - she has no respect. She unlocks the bathroom door?? I know the idea of social services is something that will be shocking and scary for you. She is abusive physically and mentally. I am sorry to sound hard OP but she is out of control

Icedcakeandflower Fri 03-May-13 12:58:20

Hello minifingers, I'm so sorry to hear of all the difficulties you've been experiencing. Two things stood out from your post - she is under CAHMS and she has a younger autistic brother.

Is she undergoing assessment at CAHMS? I'm not saying she is, but have you considered whether she too may be on the autistic spectrum? Girls present very differently, and can be outwardly social but really struggling inside, causing immense stress which may be released as aggression.

BumpingFuglies Fri 03-May-13 12:58:43

I am feeling your pain op and have been in this situation. Am so sorry. You may not like the idea, but tell her if she is violent to you that you will call the police. Then DO IT. You should not be in fear in your own home. It is abuse. The police will help and can sometimes speed up processes you may already have in place like help from CAMHS.

When you get to this point, I found there weren't many options left. May seem extreme I know. Here to hold your hand x

Chubfuddler Fri 03-May-13 12:59:12

Is there any possibility she is being sexually abused? The anger, anger directed at you - the sudden switch in personality. It's odd.

Or drugs? Don't discount it. Think about it honestly. Could she be using?

BumpingFuglies Fri 03-May-13 12:59:41

And you know what? IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!

Icedcakeandflower Fri 03-May-13 13:00:19
Lemonylemon Fri 03-May-13 13:00:43

I have resorted to telling my DS to "Shut up. Just shut up" because he can be so bloody disrespectful to me. We don't have the physical stuff anymore because he's bigger than me. But if it did come down to it, I'd be calling the police.

I've threatened him with Social Services as well. Two can play that game. I'd go through with it as well if push came to shove.

You need to put a better lock on the bathroom door. She's deliberately ignoring boundaries, personal space, personal possessions etc.

I wonder if asking her school for her to be put into internal exclusion for a few days would bring to the fore any bullying issues. Just a thought.

I think all the calls of "blame the parents" are sometimes so wide of the mark it's not funny. There's the nature/nurture argument. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how much good nurturing you give, nature just takes over.

She needs calling on her behaviour in the strongest possible terms though. You cannot be put in physical danger....

Snazzynewyear Fri 03-May-13 13:01:34

Can you and your DH sit down with her together and tell her that this has now pushed you both to the point where you will need to report her to the police? Whatever's behind the behaviour, hers towards you seems designed to put a wedge between you and her dad so you need to show a united front.

How did she react with your mother? I know you said she is bad at school but what about with other family members? Does she have friends?

Sorry this is happening to you. It sounds awful.

plum100 Fri 03-May-13 13:02:04

Hi - your situation is so sad - its bloody hard being a parent isn't it?

I would agree with the others and say can you do something nice together but in fairness it doesnt sound as though you could even get close enough to say that to her.

I would want to try and find out what happened to make her this way - she sounds very angry - especially with you (not a blame honest!).Has there been any type of bullying/abuse that may have occured anywhere ? It sounds like she wahts your attention albeit in a bad way.

If she gets violent again ring the police - theres no excuse just cos you her mum doesnt mean she can abuse you. good luck xx

ouryve Fri 03-May-13 13:05:12

This sounds truly exhausting.

I agree with the advice to talk to the police. If she's threatening and frightening you, call them. It sounds extreme, but you need to do this for help to be forthcoming from outside agencies.

And this is not normal teenage behaviour. Talk to your GP - as for a double appointment if necessary. Apart from the fact that you need to take care of yourself and your own mental health, I think she needs to be referred on to CAMHS.

Snazzynewyear Fri 03-May-13 13:07:41

I've seen now that you have had some contact with CAHMS. What have they been recommending so far?

ouryve Fri 03-May-13 13:08:46

And sorry - I missed that she has been referred to CAMHs.

That is nothing to feel ashamed about, btw. If she had joint problems, she'd be seen by a rheumatologist. It's just a different medical discipline.

LEMisdisappointed Fri 03-May-13 13:08:57

You poor thing, your post has made me so sad - i went through a really tough time with my DD1. When she was about 14-17 she was particularly difficult - I had DD2 when she was 15 and she was so jealous. Anyway, she was vile, drink, drugs (thankfully only weed) and in trouble at school. Eventually i made her go and live with my mum - it was only meant to be for a week but it turned out to be long term - my mum was just around the corner anyway etc, it was easier bla bla - anyway, shes 22 now - shes a lovely girl and im very proud of her. But i promise you, she was the devils spawn - I had to involve the police at one point.

I would probably have done many things differently but i think the one thing that i would have done more than anything is tell her that i loved her more often. Its hard to do that when someone is being so vile to you - but your DD does love you, very much - she clearly has a lot of pent up anger and you are the person closest to her, you are the person who she feels safe enough to do this to because she knows that a) you wont hurt her and b) she knows that you will never push her away.

I wish i had some more advice for you - would social services be able to help? arrange for some family therapy? So you all get an opportunity to talk in a safe environment?

I think you have a tough few years in front of you - but you will come out the other side and your relationship will be strong. Remember, she loves you.

I smiled about the charity shop comments, my DD used to be mortified about my charity shop bargains (i buy all my clothes in charity shops) now at 22 she is heavily into "vintage" and buys all of her clothes from charity shops now grin

Where does she go when she truants from school? Is she in the house or out? Do you still know her friends?

Tell CAMHS that you NEED more support. Urgently. Have they discussed an assessment via the common assessment framework? That would engage all relevant parties to work in a multi agency way - including the school, school nurse and police if necessary.

Can the school do anything more via pastoral support? Do they offer in house counselling services?

You could also ask CAMHS or school if there is a family group conferencing service in your area - this is a service who listens to each individual in your family, offering empowerment techniques and gradually brings you all together to work in partnership.

kotinka Fri 03-May-13 13:15:03

chubfuddler alarm bells for sexual abuse were ringing for me too, particularly wanting mum to leave.

but there could be so many other reasons, social services and the GP can help, I hopesad

orangeandemons Fri 03-May-13 13:16:22

I don't know what to suggest, but two things which are do-able are: change lock on bathroom door so she can't get in, and put a lock on your bedroom so she can't get into that.

Also what happens if you just ignore her.?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now