Thought I was going to have a heart attack. Can't go on like this

(84 Posts)
Shagmundfreud Fri 08-Feb-13 20:34:29

Tonight 13 yr old dd got me up against a radiator, swearing and shouting and threatening me because I told her she couldn't go to a friend's house. In front of her friend. Pushed her face in my face saying 'You think you're hard, what are you going to do about this then? What? What?' And instead of getting myself away and shutting myself in the bathroom or something, I pushed her away, slapped at her and shouted 'don't you dare try to intimidate me in my own home'. Shoved her down the hallway towards her bedroom and pulled at her hair to get her to move backwards. She weighs 10 stone and is STRONG, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

I shouldn't have done it. sad

She then stormed out the house. I now know she went straight round to SIL's. DH has come back from work and is now round there to pick her up. I spent the first hour breathless and sobbing after she'd gone. Phoned parent line in between comforting my other two dc's (7 and 9). (they stuck their heads round the door and fired a nerf gun at me. I looked at the bullet and saw they'd stuck a note to it saying 'We are sorry for you' smilesad).

I can't go on like this. We have tried to put some basic rules in place (hand over phone at 10pm on a school night, do homework, get to school on time) and she just flouts them day in and day out. Tonight's conflict started last night. I went into her room at 9.30 last night to remind her that she needed to be in bed at 10pm, and I would be taking her phone. However, I then got caught up and ended up not going in to take her phone until 10.15. At which point she was sitting fully clothed, straightening her hair. I said she had to go to bed, and to give me her phone, at which point she looked at me and said rudely 'You'll have to wait - I need to message some people' and carried on doing her hair. My response to this was to point out that I'd come in at 9.30 to remind her and that if the phone wasn't in my hand in 1 minute she'd lose it for the next day. I walked off and eventually she came in to the sitting room and threw her phone at me, arguing with me all the time about how unreasonable I was etc. Then she came and took it back off the table and went back up to her room.

DH took the phone when he came back and told her she'd lost it for the day, which resulted in her shouting in the hallway at 7am this morning. Anyway, she came back from school at 4pm and asked for her phone. As she was being polite and had apologised I let her have it. Big mistake. As soon as she had it she asked if she could go over to a friend's this evening, and when I said 'no' the above happened.

I can't take the verbal bullying and aggression and physical intimidation. She WON'T take 'no' for an answer from me. She's defiant with DH but not nearly so much as she is to me, where it's her 'rule' to challenge everything I say, and ignore pretty much all instructions. Tonight I really thought I was going to fall to pieces - I realised I'm frightened of her, and that she knows it and is being deliberately abusive to me.

I wanted to ask if anyone here would recommend family therapy for a situation like this. Really something has gone badly wrong and I'm struggling to parent her. SIL phoned me and said she thought that DD must be being bullied at school or something, for her to be so angry and so confrontational with me. I'm not so sure. I've not seen any evidence of it. I feel that we have a terrible dynamic going on - that dd is having a tough adolescence and its manifesting itself in a total reluctance to grow up. She is constantly pushing the boundaries Can't get her to see that growing up involves more freedom AND taking more responsibility for herself, and she can't have the first if she outright refuses the second. She's so profoundly uncooperative with us - I really do think it goes beyond normal teen laziness and rebelliousness. Things are really unhappy at home, and I'm wondering how long we can go on with this daily conflict - the shouting, refusal to follow even the most simple and basic rules, the attacks on me, the contempt. sad

cjel Tue 12-Feb-13 21:36:06

where can I sign up for health promoting massage and respite care for parents?

Shagmundfreud Tue 12-Feb-13 23:11:50

"I have come to the conclusion that having teenagers is very bad for your health"

Honestly - we're always told that we should never tell our children that they're at fault if we get divorced or become very ill. But dd isn't stupid. If my marriage/health falls apart in the next couple of years she's bound to think 'I wonder if it's my fault', and she might not be far off the mark.....

thewhistler Wed 13-Feb-13 22:54:14

That's why family counselling may be important. She needs to understand the consequences of her actions.

And because she has grown up in a loving family and she is intelligent, she may be able to articulate her concerns in a more socially acceptable way and negotiate through.

goingmadinthecountry Thu 14-Feb-13 01:01:11

Really feeling for you - she's trying her best to push the boundaries and your buttons. I think at 13 it's perfectly reasonable to take a phone particularly if she's used it late No negociation. Try to do something nice for yourself. FFA advice because it's impossible I know.

topnan Fri 15-Feb-13 10:05:42

DD is sitting GCSEs this year. Non-communicative at best of times, but discovered via GP who'd seen her because of daily headaches, total lethargy and sleepless nights, that she was behind with coursework and had been since Xmas. Her reports had been good so we hadn't a clue. Blood and other tests reveal she is perfectly ok physically. She expressly doesn't want us to contact school, and her form tutor has been absent for several weeks. She worked out a catch-up plan with said teachers and our help, but can't seem to cope with even bite-sized chunks without slipping into an almost catatonic trance - scary to see, eyes closing, head lolling back into a sleep. Appetite remains good though. She's been sent home by school nurse after lunch most days in past week and this morning, for the first time, refused to get up for school although she did eventually. We don't know how to cope with this..

topnan Fri 15-Feb-13 10:09:30

Sorry, meant to start a new thread with the above. Will read the instructions and try again!

Had a read and really sorry to near this. Maybe a bit of respite at either grandparents for a couple of weeks might be a good idea. Perhaps you could give it a positive edge by suggesting you could paint her room while she is away? And will give you a chance to clear it out and clean it (something I do on a regular basis for my own sanity).

We have wired and wireless internet. The wired turns off at 10.30. Our 17yr old son uses that (he lives in our garage). The wireless laptop (and her phone) gets handed in by DD (14) at 9.30 on a school night at 10.30 every other night. We turned off the internet access she was getting on her phone.

Kids need rules and boundaries but dont sweat the small stuff or you will send yourself crazy.

Take a step back and decide what is most important to tackle and go for it. Yes you lost control but I think I would have done the same in your situation so dont beat yourself up over it.

Is DD worse at certain times of the month? Could you ask school for some advice? Our school has an advisor and a counsellor who I am sure would be keen to help you. Is there a friend who could mentor her?

Hope this is helpful, keep posting.

sarva Mon 18-Feb-13 13:34:12

Sounds like you are doing all the right things - the camhs service is great once you get into the system and good to check in with school and not get hung up on small stuff. We had similar problems at this age and it did get better, but took quite a long time and a lot of patience and consistency on our parts. She's 18 now and we're very close. She appreciates how awful she was. She says it was mainly about "not feeling good enough" and "not liking herself".

Just a word on your own health, as it sounded familiar too - get checked for underactive thyroid, as can be hard to detect - sometimes even if blood tests come back negative, it's worth treating with thyroxine. This has made a massive difference to me, but it took me years to get to the bottom of it.

Best of luck - you sound like you're a great Mum, so I'm sure you'll all come through this difficult patch.

AgathaF Mon 18-Feb-13 14:06:14

Has she always been challenging, or is it a fairly recent thing?

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