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Options? Can't go on like this. Violence. Swearing. DH lost it. Long(49 Posts)
Have been here before saying we feel that we can't go on like this. But of course you do go on don't you? What choice do you have
We've had a quietish summer because dd spent pretty much every single day she wasn't out with a friend, in bed until afternoon, on the sofa watching films all afternoon, and on the internet all evening until late. We didn't try to make her go to bed, or get up, or tidy her room, or help around the house, or do any school work (despite the fact that she's got GCSE's this term and is likely to fail because she missed more than 1 in 4 lessons last year through truanting/lateness/bad behaviour). Or anything at all. Because she's so aggressively unco-operative that we've lost heart.
Back to school Wednesday, and you could feel her ill humour building as she started to contemplate not being able to do what she wants all day, every day for the next few months. She's been absolutely objectionable for a week. Yesterday it came to a head. She called DH and me 'fucking cunts' for trying to get her out the house on time for an orthodontist appointment, laughed in my face when I asked her to be home by 5 after school and said 'I'll be coming back at six. What are you going to do about it? Nothing? Of course you're not you stupid, sad, bitch', and then threw a wicker basket in DH's face when he took her phone off her after asking her to turn the music on it down at midnight last night and being told to 'fuck off you bald cunt'. He took the basket and threw it back at her and it hit her on the temple, causing a bruise. She ran at him and pushed him, and he pushed her back, so she landed on her bottom.
When I saw what was happening I rushed over and inserted myself between them, told DH to go into our bedroom and shut the door. Dd was shoving me and screaming by this point, and both the other dc's (8 and 10) were awake and upset. DD kicked two massive holes in the toilet door, tipped over shelving in the hallway, threw things at me, threw glasses across the room, all the time shouting that DH and I are fucking cunts. She then said she was leaving, so I locked the front door to stop her going out into the night alone. When she realised I'd done this she started threatening to break windows if I didn't let her out. She was so out of control emotionally I thought that she might actually do it, and I couldn't just open the door and freely let a distressed 14 year old out at midnight with nowhere to go - we live in a very rough part of London.
Anyway, I phoned 999 and unlocked the door so the police could get in. DD pushed me out the way and took off down the street as they were arriving. To cut a long story short, she came back within the hour, (though not until after they'd bough sniffer dogs around to look for her) and the police persuaded her to get in my car and allow me to drive her to my mums, where she stayed overnight. My sister got her to school today.
I can't and won't have her back here any time soon. I'm frightened for the whole family, including my DH, who has been the most patient dad in the world up to this week. He is traditionally a 'coper' and very even tempered, but the last few months have been shitty for him. We've had a cancer scare with ds1 (10) which still not resolved - he's got another ultrasound next week and question mark over whether the lumps in his chest need a biopsy, and whether they might be neurofibromas. He's got a very pressured management job and doesn't get home until 7.30 most nights. He then goes straight out 2 evenings and a full day most weekends, to cook for his parents, and wash and dress his father, who has had a stroke and has completely urinary incontinence. His mum has multiple health problems, can only walk with a zimmer frame at the moment and has been very depressed. He does a lot for them, ungrudgingly. On two of the days that he doesn't go out he usually has to do bedtimes as I work a couple of evenings most weeks. He's very tired and pissed of right now and has become unable to cope with dd's extreme disrespect towards him at the moment, despite the fact that he has been so patient with her up to this point. He's really, really good to her usually. Takes her out on her own for meals, takes her shopping, always tries to join her in family things. I'm frightened she'll provoke him into being physical with her again and he'll end up being arrested and losing his job. I've told him it CAN'T HAPPEN AGAIN. EVER.
But what happens if my mum can't take her any more? Do we have to have her back? I'm so sad and worried for my two younger children. DS1 is a very anxious child, and has started to do things that really worry me these last few months like perpetual hand washing, being very fixated on food and talking about weight gain (he is built like a strand of spaghetti). Yesterday I picked him up early from his first day at school because he was sobbing over a pain in his belly. Turned out he had done 100 sit ups the day before to try to get a six pack and had sore muscles......DS2 has autism and his reaction to stress in the house is to become very volatile and shouty himself.
I just feel like DD is destroying everyone's peace of mind and dominating the house with her moods.
What to do? We stopped family therapy with CAMHS because it wasn't helping, but I have today written to the consultant psych who supervised the therapy (and who seemed to think that dd has no diagnosable mental health problems) and described what has happened, and asked for advice. But in the end, what can CAMHS do? Therapy is never a quick fix.
Thanks for reading this. I know it's very long.
Gosh I feel for you!
My own DD was similar. I found the police and youth probation service to be the best/most effective agency. School tried their best but dd ended up with a montages move
How is she in school ?
Montages? Should say 'managed'
She's ... variable. She's popular with the other children and generally liked by teachers, but can be very, very unco-operative in lessons with teachers she perceives as weak, or in subjects she doesn't like. She's doing poorly in most subjects because she does no work at all and has missed a lot of school through truanting.
I have heard similar cases here on mumsnet where the parents got the DD into foster care. But you need to insist and say that you might hurt her if she stays or something like that.
Oh mini, I'm sorry. This sounds utterly miserable and hugely stressful for everyone.
From the outside, your DD doesn't sound like a teenager off the rails. She sounds like a distressed young person who is 'acting out' her stress, fear and anger... On top of the normal teenage problems, she has one disabled little brother, another little bro who is or might be seriously ill, parents who are stressed and worried sick, and a dad who isn't around much.
Your family, obviously and understandably, is having such a difficult time at the moment that you really need her to be well-behaved and helpful and grown-up. But she's being the opposite of this. Of course that add to your stresses.
She could almost certainly do with some sympathy, understanding and support. From her point of view, she might be angry with you because she wants to be able to rely on her mum and dad to sort out all her problems - but you aren't doing that for her now.
There is absolutely no criticism of you. I have masses of sympathy for you. You are having a really rotten time. I also have quite a lot of sympathy for your daughter, despite her awful behaviour, because it sounds like she's having a pretty rotten time too.
The circumstances don't excuse your DD's behaviour. She needs to behave decently even if she's feeling awful and under stress. Throwing things and calling you cunts is not even acceptable, even if/when you can see it as a kind of 'overflow' of stress, like a kettle boiling over. She needs to learn more positive ways of handling difficult feelings.
This is one of the major challenges of the teenage years, IMO. When they're little, they're used to mummy and daddy 'fixing' every problem. At this age, they have to be able to deal with the fact that lots of things can't actually be fixed, and that they have to find their own coping strategies.
You probably can't help your daughter to learn these things, both because there is so much else for you to cope with at the moment, and because you are already angry and upset and disappointed with each other. It really does sound like one of those situations where you need some outside help.
You are probably right that CAMHS isn't right for you/your daughter. But there isn't much else, so if they offer more help now, I'd say take it. If you are very lucky, there may be a young person's service/team that offers prevention/diversionary support - but a lot of these have been lost in local authority cuts. Your local children's centre might offer something. Your DD's school might too. You could perhaps find a young carer's project in your area: your DD would prob qualify for some support and involvement in 'time out' activities because of her brother's autism.
Incidents like Thurs night are terrible for everyone - really upsetting. But looking on the bright side, they can also be a turning point. Use it to ask for help and say really loud and clear that you can't cope. If Children's services haven't called you by Monday morning, call them. If you still feel you can't have your DD back, tell them so. You will prob face some pressure, but if you really feel you can't cope, keep saying so. There is no shame. Everyone has limits, and it is really important to be able to recognise yours and ask for help.
My dd went to stay with family this summer for exactly the same reasons.
I have felt like a terrible failure since.
It is like mourning a loss as we miss her terribly, but it couldn't go on anymore.
I too worry about what will happen if she can't stay with the gp she's currently with but I have to look after my younger ds also who has been affected by the behavior.
I hope you start to feel better soon and get some relief for your family.
Problem is Flow that she's been like this for about 2 years - long before problems with IL's got really bad and long before ds had health scare. DS2 has autism but really isn't that bad. He generally leaves her alone, is nice looking, liked at school, and an all round good kid. I don't think his behaviour is that difficult for her. As for seeing her dad - she can choose to go with him to IL's when he's helping. They live just around the corner and there are always cousins and other aunties there so it's no big sacrifice for her to go. The other dc's do.
She is popular at school, has nice friendships, is academically bright and has a loving extended family. She is cheerful and happy as long as she's able to do whatever she feels like.
Really she's not an emotionally neglected, stressed child. Or if she is stressed it is of her own making. DH and I would cope fine with DS2's special needs and even the demands made by looking after poorly ILs. It's just hard to do while being subjected to verbal and physical abuse by dd.
I will contact children's services though.
Is it possible that she is very bright, and therefore bored at school?
Does she have any ideas what she wants to do job wise or uni wise?
Do you have Young Minds in London? It's a charity based child counselling service and seems to have a better approach than CAHMS.
My son has just spent 7 weeks undergoing counselling with Young Minds and I got talking to a mum whose daughter had apts the same time as us and she said her daughter (and her) found CAHMS useless and the Young Minds approach was working with her daughter much better (she was self harming).
My son has really benefitted from his counselling - he had anger issues that were spilling into school and as he has just entered Year 6 I wanted to help him help himself before he goes to High School next year. He has found it really useful!
I sympathise with you greatly and hope things improve!
Mini, I don't think for a minute she's neglected - sorry if my post read like that. In fact, the fact that she's saving all her worst behaviour for you is probably a 'good' sign that her attachments with you are secure and she feels sure you love her even if she's horrible.
But she clearly is stressed. She might not be dealing with things you or I think ought to make her stressed, but in her own terms she is obviously struggling.
The thing about stress is that it is not caused so much by what's happening to you as by your responses to whatever it is. If you don't have good enough strategies or resilience to deal with bad stuff happening, or things not going your own way, then you get stressed.
She's losing control and exploding when she's under pressure or frustrated, and she needs to learn a whole range of other strategies to use instead.
14-17 is a really difficult age for bright, strong minded individuals I think. They have far less autonomy than they want, and have to go day in day out to school, where they'd rather not be.
I am absolutely not excusing her behaviour. It isn't acceptable and you can't live with it. But when i was dealing with similar behaviour from my own DS 1-5 years ago, I personally found that it helped me to have some insight into how things felt for him, rather than how I perceived them myself... Not least because when I understood there were some 'reasons' for his anger and frustration, it felt less personal. And I could say things that helped him recognise when he was behaving badly (which usually he couldn't do until afterwards when it was too late) like "I know you are angry, but it isn't ok to take it out on me"...
Anyway, I think I'm waffling now, so I'll shut up!
No, you are a good'un Flow and you've given so much excellent advice and support on this board. I really, really appreciate you taking the time to consider our situation and give us your thoughts.
I do try to put myself in her shoes sometimes, but when I do this I come away feeling shocked by her topsy turvy view of her life and ours. She seems to believe that she should have no obligations AT ALL - to anyone or anything. She takes no responsibility for anything. Ever. I mean quite consistently so. She is stressed because life making demands on her. She is resisting growing up with all her might. But I don't know why, and neither does she.
She is resisting growing up?
In all ways, or just in being responsible ways?
Did something happen 2 years ago, apart form her being 12?
Mini I think if your mum (with your sister's help) can't keep her for the foreseeable future you have to contact Children's Services and request a foster placement. She is a danger to the physical and mental health of your other children and you and your DH need time to re-group. They will be able to put in place more support for your dd too.
You really need to see about that family therapy again for you, your DH and the other kids to help you deal with your emotions about the whole situation and develop strategies to manage should she be placed back with you eventually. Also individual therapy for you would be good if you are not already seeing someone.
There is no quick fix and until you and DH are strong enough in yourselves to provide consistent boundaries do not have her back in the house otherwise you risk the cycle repeating again.
Yellowballoons - the aspects of growing up which are about having more autonomy she doesn't resist, and we have given her more freedom. She just wants nothing of those aspects which need to go hand in hand with increased autonomy: greater self control; increasing sense of personal responsibility; the growing ability to defer gratification. These last 3 she wants nothing of and doesn't seem to see the need for. She is like a massive toddler who won't take no for an answer and is driven by whatever impulse she feels at any particular time.
What happened 2 years ago? She started secondary and was expected to do homework, get herself to lessons on time, help out more at home, learn challenging things at school. And she just WON'T. She won't do anything she doesn't feel like doing. And anyone who tries to make her or takes issue with her lack of effort she bullies and screams at.
She has NO hobbies at all, because they require effort. She is very overweight, because not being overweight requires her to deny herself fizzy drinks and snacks, and also requires her to be active. Which she is not willing to do.
She is very musical but will not join a choir or learn an instrument, because it requires effort. Ditto drama.
What WILL she do? Watch tv. For hours and hours and hours. Day after day. Surf the internet. Talk on the phone/text her friends. She fiddles with her hair. Gets her nails done. Otherwise? Nothing.
Does she wash herself properly? Hate to ask really. Dont even answer if you dont want to.
Upthread I asked if she knows what she wants to do when school ends. Has she any ideas? Or does she think things will just fall into her lap?
Um soory I just have to say something, outsider looking in and all.
How's her self confidence? Your last post could sum up a lazy teen or someone struggling with self image and worth! I can't help thinking she sounds like a deeply unhappy young lady, and yes she is acting in an inappropriate manner and that can't go, but has anyone talked to her about how she is actually feeling?
Yellow I was wondering the same thing!
Op is her clothing appropriate to the weather?
I agree, I think she sounds like she has very low self-esteem and is very unhappy. Again, that's not to excuse her bad behaviour but perhaps to help explain it...
My own DS1 gets angry instead of being sad or afraid. It's like he can't bear feeling vulnerable, so he turns it into fury... He's getting better now, but it was awful when he was 14.
His worst outbursts were in response to me being angry with him: it took me years to realize that when I got angry, he got terrified that I didn't love him any more... and on some level I think he figured that if I was going to hate him because he was bad, he might as well behave really badly to get his worst nightmare over with sooner... Could something similar be going on with your DD?
Her self esteem is poor because she believes that looks are everything and spends half her life standing in front of a mirror, agonising over her appearance. She can't be persuaded that it might be a good thing to step away from the mirror and DO something to build her confidence, that self esteem is about more than how you look.
You know she really is well liked by children her own age. She never seems to be the one chasing friendships. Her friends are pretty and popular, but she seems like the dominant one.
Is she a Queen Bee?
If she is one or has been one, they can lose their sense of self along the way.
I am sorry to say I think it's time for you to put your DD into the care of social services. I don't see what else you can possibly do - this CANNOT carry on. Of course she will play the victim, no doubt try to rewrite history and say you abandoned her when she was troubled, chucked her out, never supported her or tried to help her - I have no doubt she will do all of that. But for the sanity and the physical safety of the rest of your family you have to stop this now.
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